So, I’m addicted to Pokemon GO.
That’s a thing in my life.

I’m level 20. I have a pretty Vaporeon for my heavy hitter. I’ve taken some gyms, though I can never hold them. I’ve caught lots of Pokemon, but I’m still missing prolly half the Pokedex. I’m currently planning trips with people to places within an hour’s drive to go hunt OTHER Pokemon that I have yet to find close to where I live.

Here’s why that’s important:
Shortly before the Pokemon GO release, I was totally withdrawing from anything that required me to leave my house. I stopped going to find my friends at karaoke, because I don’t really like karaoke and that’s literally all they ever do. I stopped going to as many local concerts, because I hate going to shows alone. I was just sitting at home watching YouTube videos and failing at Assassin’s Creed (because I’m still a shitty, shitty gamer… lol).

When Pokemon GO released, I spent the first week going out EVERY SINGLE NIGHT to walk around and see what’s lurking in my neighborhood. I leashed up different dogs every night, and we walked until we were both fairly cripple. Then I found some other places to go where there were Pokestops on hand. At these kinds of places I found lots of other players! So I’d walk around with like 70 other people, and we’d all jaunt toward the Dratini, or curse the Rattata that had the unmitigated gall to escape from our Pokeballs.

Over the course of the next couple of weeks I joined the Facebook groups for my team (Mystic) and local Denver area players. We shared good farming spots for different Pokemon, and planned gym raids. We shared memes and articles on how best to level, and tricks for evolving Eevees into what you WANTED them to be. We speculated on the Legendary Birds, the Mew Twins, and the ever elusive Ditto. We shared pain when the servers were down, and joy as the server outages got more sparse.

I planned a whole little gathering of geeks for my friends that play P-GO and people ACTUALLY SHOWED UP TO PLAY WITH ME.

All along the way, of course, are naysayers.
People that don’t like Pokemon.
People that think it’s a waste of time.
People that think it’s for children.

Look… I’m out walking around at 11 at night quite frequently these days (bought a taser flashlight for the occassion) and I do see a lot of kids… with their parents. I see whole families coming out into the night air to try and capture the elusive Golduck; and teens of all kinds… and adults of all ages… I ran into two 80+ year old women catching Pokemon at a park at night. They weren’t moving fast, but they were laughing and having a blast, and it was a joy to see them out doing something.

This article popped up in my Facebook feed today.

It irritated me…
In short, it’s a guy from the Netherlands telling people to delete the app because it’s a time suck and a money pit that requires no skill to level up in, and how there will always be someone better than you with more time or money.

Yeah, P-GO is a time suck. That’s the point.
People waste time. We waste time on Facebook. We waste time watching TV. We waste time relaxing. I, personally, find working out to be a terrible waste of time that doesn’t even stimulate your brain. But nothing is  a waste of time if you’re enjoying the time.

P-GO is a time suck that gets you out of the house, that lets you be social, and that’s especially important to losers like me that tend to play video games alone in the dark ALL THE TIME. At least I’m up and out and seeing other people, and maybe making a conversation with someone. At least I’m leashing up a dog and taking them to a park to meander around. At least I’m not eating Cheetos and drinking soda in front of a TV every night, right now. Could I be being more productive? Yes.

I could be learning a language***, relandscaping my yard, renovating my bathroom, or even just cleaning house. I could be volunteering at a homeless shelter, or building homes for the Habitat for Humanity. But… I didn’t do any of that before. P-GO isn’t taking me away from those things. So if I wasn’t going to do them before… I probably wouldn’t do them after deleting and app I actually enjoy.
***I actually try to at least keep moderately up to date on German and Spanish, so I technically AM learning languages, just not at a quick pace…

The money thing…  I mean, you don’t have to spend a dime. If you wanna dump money into it, that’s cool. Hobbies sometimes require money. Most of them do, really. If it makes you happy, whatever.What else are you gonna spend it on? For me, that money would go to video games, pizza, music, booze… still just shit that makes me happy. I’m not gonna save up for it and buy a new house with my entertainment money. If I was going to do that, I’D ALREADY BE DOING IT, and on top of that I’d still be able to budget in P-GO stuff… because I would be better at finances.

Why can’t people just let other people ENJOY things? It’s not about comparing yourself to the people with more time and a higher level than you. This guy in New York that caught everything already, for instance…. I don’t care about myself compared to him, because I’m just out having fun. It’s not about me hitting level 30 and being the top trainer in America. Who really cares what level you’re at? Once you’re past 5 and you pick a team, you’re a trainer, man. The fun is to be out and doing stuff, and being like, “FUCK YEAH! ANOTHER EEVEE!” And laughing with your friends when they can’t catch the CP 10 Pidgey. And being able to show off random lucky catches you make.

I just don’t know why people can’t just let other people ENJOY THINGS.

Pokemon Go is the realization of the dreams I had as a kid. I get to venture out and catch stuff and beat gyms, and new releases will let me trade and battle with friends. They’re going to release the other generations, and Niantic is going to have tournaments for the Legendaries and Mythics… This whole thing means so much to me, because it’s not about anything other than me being able to TOUCH a dream that I thought would never happen, because…

I wanna be the very best… like no one ever was….


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