As much as I tried to teach him the benefits and the joy of exercise the kid has never really cared for it. He prefers to be doing something he really enjoys and if exercise is a side effect, he’s okay with it but he never intentionally sets out to exercise. So you can only imagine how delighted I was when this past weekend he asked me to walk a 5K with him.
Unfortunately, he asked me on Sunday when I had a raging migraine so I asked him if we could go on Monday after he finished work and he said sure. I was worried he would try to get out of it but he didn’t. In fact, he woke me up from my late afternoon cat nap.
By this time I was sure he needed to borrow money but when I asked him why the sudden love of walking he pulled out his phone and said ‘Pokemon Go’.
For those of you who aren’t aware of this latest viral phenomenon, Pokemon Go is an app based on the original game using augmented reality. In other words, you walk around your street, neighborhood, city or wherever searching for and capturing pokemon. The game utilizes your GPS and random pokemon appear around you. You then flip a ball to capture them.
Besides capturing Pokemon, there are also Poke Stops. Poke Stops are landmarks, parks, grocery stores or places of interest where you can get poke balls, eggs and other items. You can also go to gyms which are locations where you fight and my favorite part of the game is the eggs which you incubate and then hatch by walking. Most eggs take 2 to 5 Kilometers to hatch but some take 10 and usually the longer it takes to hatch the rarer the pokemon could be.
When the kid first explained the game to me I realized it was somewhat similar to the card game he played when he was little. I never really played the game and I wasn’t sure that I would really care for the app either. Also, I had always been annoyed by the game because when the kid was little we had rabbits and when it was his turn to name the babies he chose jigglypuff and Charizard but I digress, if the kid was willing to walk a 5k to hatch a damn egg, then I was on board. Let the hatching begin.
We left the house and turned toward the grocery store. I had already mapped out a 3.2 mile trek which would take us by a restaurant, a grocery store, a small plaza and eventually to the park. In the first 15 minutes we walked by 3 people who yelled out, ‘Pokemon Go?’ We yelled back, YES!
Here’s what I learned.
Everybody is playing this game. By the time we finished, we had run into at least 40 people playing the game, both young and old. I never see that many people out in my neighborhood, ever.
Its good exercise and you don’t realize your actually exercising because you’re having fun. I’m pretty sure Pokemon Go got more kids to exercise in one weekend than Michelle Obama did in the last 8 years!
You don’t have to be a fan of the original pokemon to like the Pokemon Go app. For some reason it’s addicting and there are pokemon everywhere but you are going to look a little weird when you’re searching for them. It’s okay, chances are there are 4 or 5 other people doing the exact same thing.
I have to admit that after only a few minutes I grabbed the phone from the kid and played myself and you know what? I loved it! It was a blast and yes, it’s addicting. I’m still learning the game and I don’t know how often I’ll play but if you want something fun to do with your children or your friends or family, I’d recommend it.
You definitely want to be safe because you don’t want to end up finding dead bodies so don’t go into areas where you shouldn’t and if you want to play at night be sure to take along some friends and play in well populated and well-lit areas.
The app is based on the original 151 Pokemon characters and I’m not sure how many levels there are as I only made it to level 7. That being said, the kid informed me that the original game had many generations so maybe there will be additional apps too, who knows?
Have you played Pokemon Go yet?