Why I Still Love Pokemon Go

When Pokemon Go released it was literally everywhere. I couldn’t go to the grocery store, get gas in my car, hell, I couldn’t even be on any social media for 5 minutes without being bombarded with videos. I’ll admit that I was one of the first people downloading it too, not gonna lie. My whole family plays, including extended family, and the majority of us take trips several times a week to hit raids, gyms and just travel around to hit different Pokestops and goof off. There have been a lot of complaints about how the game is ‘stuck’ and how it’s not fun anymore and so on. To those articles, I say shush. Seriously. Get off your butts, find a Facebook group for Pokemon Go raids and such in your area, and play some more. There are still so many people playing that the game is insanely fun still for so many reasons.

You Can’t Buy Your Way Up

This is one of my main pet peeves when it comes to mobile games: people buying their way up. Ok, let me stop and say this: I understand the point of a mobile game is to make money. I’m not dumb. However, when a game lets you buy your way up to the highest levels and beyond, where no one can touch you, yet you can still demolish beginner players – it is no longer fun. That is the main reason I hate most of the military strategy games out there. The minute you start playing, some jerkoff demolishes you because they have spent thousands and, well, they’re just jerks.

Pokemon Go isn’t like that. Sure, you can buy Pokeballs and other items in their shop – and I do that a lot. However, you can’t just buy levels, you can’t just buy experience and you can’t just buy speedups to gain levels faster. You still have to work at them. You physically have to go out and hit Pokestops and gyms. You have to actively wait for Pokemon to appear and catch them. You cannot just buy everything. I love this. It means that the game is still a challenge and you’re working hard for something that you want – instead of buying it.

You Get To Hang Out

One of the main things that I love about Pokemon Go is that I play with my family. When my son is home from college on the weekends, we go and hit some of the gyms, raids, and Pokestops in our area – several times. We walk through the parks and hit the Pokestops, catch Pokemon, take over gyms and do raids together and it is awesome. I hang out with my sister and drive around town, hitting Pokestops and gyms and head through some of the larger parks around to catch Pokemon. Sure it’s playing video games together, but we’re also walking around, getting some fresh air and exercise, goofing off and having fun.

If you are smart enough to join some of the Pokemon Go groups on Facebook in your area, then you’ve already learned that there are tons of other Poke-nerds out there who are happy to go hang out too. It is a fun way to meet people who love to play the game like you do, find groups of people for large raids and work together toward something that you all want – something challenging. (Finding groups of people that want to work together like this is amazing and one of the reasons that I love World of Warcraft raids after 11 years of playing.) If you haven’t found some Facebook groups in your area, I highly recommend it. You never know when you can find a large group doing a huge raid and grab that legendary Pokemon you’ve been drooling over.

You Have To Physically Do Things

I don’t mean just button mashing either. To gain free Pokeballs, legendary Pokemon and more, you need to actually get out and do things. I love that the majority of the Pokestops and gyms in my area are in nice parks. You can get out and walk around, catch some cool Pokemon, hit raids and gyms all while you’re having fun with friends or family and exercising. I don’t know about you, but video games in my life haven’t always made me get up and out of the house. If anything, they’ve tethered me to a chair for hours. I actually think that it makes the game even more fun that you have to do these things outside with other people.

Updates And Extras

One of the last things I’m going to mention here is that I love the updates that Niantic has put into the game and I also love the extra goodies you can get to help you out. For example, Niantic has announced a new event that will be coming up soon for the game and that they are still working on two major things: trading and PvP battles. (I personally cannot wait for both of these to come out!) The company is always updating and adding in legendary and new Pokemon on a pretty regular basis. I’m glad that they do this, instead of just leaving the original ones the game was stocked with until people are overwhelmed with the same old Pokemon they had.

I also love that there are extras that you can get that help you collect Pokestops and catch Pokemon when you’re not able to grab your phone – like when you’re driving. Pokewatches are one item that seems to always be sold out anywhere around my area, and for good reason. These are Bluetooth bracelets that allow you to grab Pokemon and collect from Pokestops while you’re just passing by. The bracelet lights up, and that tells you if you’re by a stop or catching a Pokemon. You hit the button and it collects for you automatically. One thing that I hope is changed in the future is that you can’t see what Pokemon you’re catching – so it may be one you don’t want to waste Pokeballs on.

Overall Pokemon Fever

I think that the game isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. With new legendaries that came out this weekend and a new event announced for next week, it’s easy to see that the developers still are actively planning to boost in-game events and fun to keep players interested. I know that I’ll still be playing for a long time to come. I hope that if you haven’t given the game a chance yet, you’ll do so. I’m sure that you will love it as much as I do.

Trying not to melt away in the heat of Oklahoma, MD Weems has been a writer and artist for over 20 years. Her written works over all types of gaming have been used in college level game design textbooks as well as in US Patents over virtual character design. She has worked with gaming companies all over the world and is even cool enough to have her own Korean cartoon character.