Nearly overnight, Pokémon Go has swept into my life and brought me and my millennial brethren into a paradise land of nostalgia, comradery, and exercise. Over 20 years have passed since the release of the very first Pokémon game, and now people like me who grew up playing these games have a chance to finally see these adorable little creatures jumping, laughing, and fighting in the real world through the app’s use of my phone’s camera.
My search for Pokémon has taken me places I never would have gone normally—like the paths of Ellison Park—and has even shown me new things about my neighborhood I’ve never seen before. There are places called Pokéstops that are real world locations that, if visited in person, will give your character items. One of these Pokéstops was a large artistic sculpture called “Flying Fishes” and it was directly behind my favorite coffee shop, Starry Nights Café. I visit Starry Nights Café at least twice a month and I never knew about the art behind their building before Pokémon Go came out.
While on the hunt, I encounter complete strangers also engaged in catching Pokémon. Previously, we two strangers would have no reason to talk to each other, but now we’re talking about the Pokémon we’ve caught, what’s nearby, what team we joined. This level of interaction with your community is a positive and energetic feel that I haven’t experienced since I was in elementary school. And like schools, Pokémon Go offers the playing the chance to join one of three different teams which adds a fun rivalry amongst players. Our official team at the Henrietta Public Library is Team Mystic, the best team there is, of course.
And while I could write many more pages about my love for this game, a Charmander has just appeared nearby and I have to go catch it.
-Matthew Hoople, Producer of Imaginative Works