Pokémon Go Meet-Ups and Thoughts

Pokémon Go Meet-Ups and Thoughts

13707602_10154971228756393_8186914831578048961_nOn Monday evening for the debut of Pokémon Go in Canada, I went to the CN Tower for the Launch Party Meet-Up that was being thrown. Lures were sponsored and people were encouraged to come out to catch rare (and not so rare) Pokemon in the company of fellow trainers. More than 3000 people showed up to attend the event and wandered around the area from 8:00pm until well after 11:00pm**.

I initially felt pretty dorky (even as someone who does a comic book podcast) heading out to the meet-up but once I got about a block away, I realized that these were my people, as much as the geeks at comic cons are but even better. Where geekdom tends to be filled with tiresome gatekeepers, this event was all embracing and just seriously fun.

Attendees would chant their team name “MY-STIC, MY-STIC, MY-STIC!” and set off other teams chanting back “VA-LOR! VAL-OR! VAL-OR!” in a friendly sort of manner completely opposite to football hooliganism.

Every time a cool Pokémon showed up, someone would start shouting the name of what it was so others could come over and get in on the action. No one tried to hog something for themselves; everyone was there to share in the experience and physically get to live play a thing that many of us remember fondly from our childhood.

The whole event made me remember the best parts about being a geek and helped me feel that warm, cheesy embrace of belonging to something without question.

So many people are trying to rain on the Pokémon parade and to that I present these points:

  1. People are going OUTSIDE and experiencing their cities; new and familiar parts
  2. People are getting exercise… lots and lots of exercise
  3. People are coming together and making friends because of this game
  4. Many who suffer from depression and crippling mental illnesses are finding happiness in a way to bring them amongst people in a non-anxiety inducing way
  5. It is inclusive and a FREE way to have an enjoyable day out in the world
    Don’t try to ruin other people’s fun. Don’t try to take away something that is making people feel SO good about themselves. Be loving. Be understanding. Be a person who sees the amazing qualities that this (admittedly ridiculous) game is bringing to the table and embrace it and those who are just trying to enjoy something amongst the complete chaos that is the world around us.

**Photo credit to my friend James Cooper