5 Things I Didn’t Expect From Pokemon Go

5 Things I Didn’t Expect From Pokemon Go

This time last week, I jumped in a car with four friends and drove an hour north after work to spend four hours walking around barely lit parks in suburbs I used to feel unsafe in during the day – and it’s all because of Pokemon Go.

Pokemon finally made it to smartphones in Australia, New Zealand and the US on July 6. As a member of the prime Pokemon generation (aged between 6-13 in the Golden era of gameboys, Ash, Misty and Brock) this was the moment we’ve been waiting for since our first Nokia, and I’ve never been so glued to my screen as I was in that first week.

You’d think that was a bad thing (especially considering last year’s resolution) but the game has left me pleasantly surprised – apart from a few dickheads, it’s really bringing out the best in people. Even if we’re all over completely it in a week (very likely), I feel like this is a bit of a turning point and we’ll be knowing our neighbours in no time.

Wondering what the heck I’m on about? Here are the five things I totally didn’t expect from Pokemon Go that are making the world a better place (and please note – I don’t condone the moronic habit of playing it in the middle of busy footpaths).

It’s getting people moving

Wii Fit has nothing on Pokemon Go. I walked over 40km over the first week – and that’s only with the app active and on my screen. I’ve always been fairly active, but the good this is doing for so many kids who would usually be sitting at home with their Xbox is incredible.

Pokemon Go is making the streets safe(r)

I’m not a huge fan of the dark. After going for an 8pm run through the area in 2013 (during which I think I ran from my own shadow), I swore I’d never go to the Botanic Gardens at night again. But last weekend, I was walking through creepy rows of trees with my boyfriend and three guys I’d never met before, chasing a dratini and talking about our childhood memories of the game while hundreds of other people did the same.

People are talking to strangers again

Two weeks ago, charging through a park with your eyes glued to a screen was like a big, red “don’t talk to me sign.” Now, people are peering over strangers shoulders to check if they’re playing and asking them if they’ve found anything good – Niantic has managed to break through one hell of a barrier.

It’s making me (and many other people) see more of my city

Pokestops (locations where you can collect pokeballs and other items) are set as landmarks on your map, and can be anything from a painted electricity box to a full on art installations – turns out there’s a gargoyle on the office building across from mine and I now know who more of the statues around Brisbane are of. I’m also exploring a lot more – from wandering that little bit further down the path that used to be my usual Sunday walk to doing laps of a suburb I’d only ever seen from the train station. And I have never seen so many people in South Bank outside Riverfire and NYE.

It’s been having a brilliant impact on youth mental health

Even as someone who enjoys the odd Xbox binge, I wouldn’t have believed anything that involved staring at screens more would help people fee better. But it has. Check out these articles:

Have you been playing Pokemon Go, or are you sick to death of the crowds of people with their phones out? Let me know what you think in the comments.

 

Lifestyle blogger Brisbane

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10 Comments

  1. I was never into Pokemon back in the day but my husband was. So of course Pokemon Go was a must-download for him. And I will admit, I love it! Everything you’ve said in your post is so true! We walked all around town and saw things I’ve never spotted before. And we got talking to strangers about what they caught! Haha it’s GENIUS!

    1. Isn’t it great? People have been complaining for years now that kids don’t wander the neighbourhood like they used to, and it’s happening! Glad to hear you’re enjoying it 🙂

  2. I used to play Pokemon on my Gameboy Advance when I was a kid, so it was a must that I play it from my phone. I’m having a lot of fun heading out with my partner and friends looking for pokemon and trading tips and directions with other people. I haven’t gone hunting in the city yet, but I know I’ll get around it soon enough. What level are you up to now? I just hit 16 yesterday, and today I caught Hitmonlee (ironically enough, right in front of an Asian grocery store with ‘Lee’ in the name and Hitmonchan.

    Stephii Mattea xx

    1. I was never allowed to have a Gameboy (mum was worried we’d never read again!) but I adored the TV show, and when I was a little older my uncle installed a GBA emulator on our computer so I could finally play. Then when X & Y were released I nearly failed a uni exam haha. I’m level 21 🙊 we did a LOT of driving to weird places to play in the first week… but I still don’t have a hitmonlee or hitmonchan!

  3. I live in the back end of nowhere in Mid Wales, so I haven’t seen many people playing Pokemon Go around here. However, on a day trip to Birmingham I spotted a 30-something year old man playing it… although he did try his best to look casual and as if he wasn’t playing it!

    1. Haha there’s definitely a lot of that around! The number of older guys in suits I see playing on my way to work is insane.

  4. I actually haven’t played Pokemon Go, just because I’m already terrible at charging my phone and I know it’s a huge battery drainer, but I’ve noticed so many people playing it lately! I think there are definite benefits to it (:

    Angelina Is | Bloglovin’

    1. Haha I’m shocking at that too. The game definitely taught me to remember to keep my portable charger ready to go!

  5. I would have to completely agree with you! My husband and I play and it gets us out of the house, we’ve found new areas around us to explore and we’ve met people along the way! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    I just started following you on bloglovin! I would love a follow back. I love your blog! <3

    Xo Nicole
    http://www.damatoadventures.blogspot.com

    1. Thanks lovely! Isn’t it great? We’ve also been spending a lot more time with our friends since it was released.

      Thank you for the follow, have followed back 🙂 x

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