We've had a rough couple of weeks, what with all of the police shootings, terrorism, and the dark cloud of the coming presidential election looming over our heads.
Then some rays of what looked like harmless fun and silliness began to peek through the clouds. What is this new game that has everyone in such a tizzy? Pokémon? I seem to recall not giving much of a shit about this twenty years ago. Why is everyone talking about this again all of a sudden?
I had to know, so I downloaded the game. And what do you know? There was a goddamn Charmander in my parents' kitchen! Naturally, I did what any reasonable person would do. I threw shit at him until he was encapsulated against his will in a pocket-sized ball, and saved him to fight for my amusement and prestige.
I'm telling you guys, simulated cruelty to animals has never been this fun or adorable.
Not everyone is enjoying this new game though.
Like most things on the internet, this has become rather polarizing. Some people are fanatically opposed to this game, and the enjoyment others are getting from it, and they've been very vocal about how above it all they are. I've seen people threatening to unfollow anyone who mentions Pokémon Go on Facebook. And if you've followed this blog over the past couple of weeks, you'll know that I take inspiration from exactly those types of douchebags.
What people seem to be missing about Pokémon Go is that it's more than just a game. It's a major advance in gaming. This isn't some Zynga bullshit that encourages you to annoy the piss out of all your Facebook contacts in order to get your fucking blueberries to grow. The people annoying the shit out of you on Facebook with Pokémon Go are merely sharing content that they find entertaining, no different than cat videos or pictures of their dinner.
Naysayers wonder why people are wasting their time on this nonsense. (Apparently they've never been introduced to the concept of "games" before.) They say that walking isn't really exercise. They put people down for being distracted from other more important things.
But I'm not here to talk about people who can eat a dick today. Instead, I'd like to look forward along this exciting new path.
The world changed a little bit for the better this week, in my opinion. Walking briskly along a course of Poke Stop-dense areas, attempting to secure some much-needed Poke Balls, I've interacted with so many people I otherwise might have never met. And some of them have actually been people I have at least a little bit in common with, which hasn't been all that easy to come by with my recent move to Mississippi.
People are already speculating on where this phenomenon might lead, even outside the world of gaming. But for me, I'd like to stay inside the world of gaming. It's kinda my thing.
I'm having fun with Pokémon Go, but what I'd really like to play is a similar game with an old console RPG feel to it. Something like Dragon Warrior Go, but with a better name than that. Sort of like a World of Warcraft in which you interact face to face with people on the street, and have a friendly chat with them instead of calling their mom a NEWB FAG!!! or whatever. It's been a while since I've played, so forgive me if the level of discourse has risen since then.
You'd walk around fighting monsters with spells or swords instead of catching them. You'd still level up by gaining experience points, but you'd also acquire gold, with which you could buy cooler weapons and armor.
Once you get powerful enough, you can start claiming real-world patches of land and recruiting lower-level players to be in your army. You might even be able to forge alliances with other players, securing more land, and defending it against rival player alliances.
I don't know. There's so much potential. My imagination is running wild. I'm so excited about this non-existent game that I'm literally making up as I type.
In the future I see, Pokémon Go is the first step down an exciting new road. Who among us has the Poke Balls to travel it?
Feel free to stop by and post a pic of your best Pokémon on my Facebook page. I won't judge, as long as you also press the like button.