Will Pokemon Go Change the World or Drive Us All Crazy?


Some of you guys might remember Farmville, the game that almost everyone on Facebook seemed to be playing back in 2009.  Farmville was created by Zynga, and according to Wikipedia, Zynga has over 20 million daily active users among all of their games.  Farmville made Zynga what it is today and at the time Farmville was everywhere.  It looks like Pokemon Go is going to dwarf Farmville as it is everywhere already and the game has been out for just 6 days.

I skipped Farmville but I’ve been playing Pokemon Go for the last few days.  If you’re not familiar with the game, it is an easy install.  You log in using your gmail account and you can casually play it.  The game uses GPS and creates a virtual world on top of the real world.  Ideally, players can always around in the real world and periodically will stumble onto Pokemon to capure, gyms to battle and conquer as well as Pokestops that denote landmarks work seeing.

When a player reaches level 10, they are able to join one of three teams:  Team Insight, Team Valor and Team Mystic.  Of the three, the most numerous is Team Mystic but Team Valor is pretty close in player population behind them.  There seems to be a number of photos going around the internet of team rivalries so expect amusement (or spam depending on whether you are into it).

Pokemon Go Players in Melbourne Australia

Pokemon is bringing strangers together.  As someone who grew up being taught about stranger danger and staying anonymous on the internet, I do worry a bit about things like this.  Pokemon is geared towards children and I think, are pedophiles going to be kidnapping children with the help of Pokemon Go?  But creeps are going to be creeps.  So let us hope that parents will do what they can to teach their kids about the dangers of strangers and let us also do what we can as fellow gamers to make sure everyone is safe.  There are stories of robberies where teenagers armed with a gun were driving around Missouri robbing people at various Pokestops late at night.  Somewhere along the way in my youth I learned it wasn’t a good idea to be out in strange places at night.  I could point a finger and say “well, the criminals shouldn’t be criminals!” but I think I’ll do my finger pointing inside of my home after hours.  Thieves have been around for thousands of years and probably will be for thousands more.

Of course, some people actually have players showing up at their homes.  A guy named Boon Sheridan lives in an old church and it seems even CNN shared his story about trainers showing up at his home. The story mentions Pokemon gyms.  These are locations where players can challenge each other once they reach level 5.  The strongest Pokemon will dominate the gym and claim it for their team.  Other places on the same team can support and spar to help keep their team in control with freebies and experience as a reward.  Other teams will need to join up and challenge the current champion and his allies.  A quick 10 mile drive yesterday revealed a dozen gyms in my area alone and I only went through a part of my city.

Pokemon Go is free to play but it has a cash shop which offers perks.  These perks include leveling bonuses and other items which would enable someone to level up faster than normal.  I understand that this can suck.  I’ve been in pay for perks games before (pay to win) and I’ve parted with my cash a few times though I’m no where near the “whale” status. If you’re not familiar with the term, whales are players who spend crazy amounts of cash on a game.  Thousands of dollars.  Well “crazy” might not be a fair term to use if you are talking about a billionaire spending $5,000 on a video game.  But if you are talking about a person with an annual income below $30,000 spending even $3,000 on a game and receiving no tangible ownership, that certain does seem crazy.  If I put any money into Pokemon Go, I will probably wait to do so.  Usually leveling is easy at the early levels in games, so I’ll save the experience boosts and such for later on when things get tedious.

Clefairy I have no idea what I'm doing

The image above sums up how I feel playing Pokemon Go.  It isn’t a hard game.  It is actually a pretty basic game but there’s definitely some complex nuances to it.  As I gain a better understanding, I’ll try to post some updates with tips and such.  I haven’t decided which team to join yet but that is alright as I’m currently still level 3.

Ready to head out into the world and catch some Pokemon?  Stop by our store first and gear up with some Pokemon swag and hunt in style!

What do you think?