If Pokémon GO is the only reason why you're outside right now, maybe it's time to reconsider

If Pokémon GO is the only reason why you're outside right now, maybe it's time to reconsider

CultureJuly 11, 2016

It’s happening again, isn’t it?

You see, seven years ago, we were at a similar place we are today. People acted all crazy bananas over a social media game called FarmVille. In it, the user would click around about 200 times planting fake plants while watching a timer count down real time as they matured. As everyone’s eyes were glued to this imaginary farm, actual hours of life passed by. Then, after clicking 200 more times to harvest these crops made of 1s and 0s, the cycle began again.

Insanity by the very definition of the word …

Yet, aside from the occasional Aunt asking for a FarmVille come-up that sneakily embeds itself amongst more important Facebook notifications, the game is all but gone. Banished to the nether-areas. A blip in the forgotten suck. It was only a matter of time before something just as obnoxious took its place, though …

Now we have Pokémon GO.

It’s overkill to sit here and try to explain in detail what the game actually is. Basically, users go outside while looking at reality through a 4-inch screen capturing fake things with fake balls. There’s no end game, really, it’s just an app that shows who knows how to tap their screens the most.

“I got outside though,” a friend honestly confided with me this morning. “I probably walked close to a mile trying to find this one Pokémon.”

“What the fuck!?” I responded politely.

“Yeah, I met some people in the park that were playing too,” another chimed in.

“You guys are fuckin' serious about this, aren’t you?” I questioned.

Here they are, 30-year-old grown-ass people legitimately telling me that the only reason they got outside these past few days, during a summer weekend in Colorado, was because chasing after characters on a screen was a priority. There wasn’t even a hint of irony in these admissions.

These two saw nothing wrong with an electronic leash taking them for a walk around the neighborhood.

It’s worth noting that I really don’t give two kicks what anyone does with their own time. They both could have been in a dark basement for 72 hours stroking taxidermied carcasses while rolling their eyes back into their heads as far as they could to get a quick buzz, for all I care. But to me, this notion of effectively applauding electronics for getting people outside is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard of.

Maybe I could understand if this was Beanpole, Iowa, population 15 — something new to supplement the reality of having nothing to do. I might be able to understand that.

But this is Colorado, an international destination point for the outdoors. There’s a lot to do, so why be tethered to a non-existent world that literally has nothing to offer by way of reward? You literally get nothing out of it.

I don’t get it, but I don’t have to. People are always going to fly by the seat of trends and immerse themselves into a spark because the rest of the mob tells them they have to. This isn’t anything unique to this time period. And, it’s a hell of a lot better getting outside to play a game than it is wandering around destroying property or sticking needles in your arm, I suppose.

As it stands, Pokémon GO will be another flash in the pan, relegated to the confines of memory when everyone outdoes themselves and latches on to the next. There isn't anything inherently wrong about enjoying oneself with something new, but if you find that the only reason you've even bothered to open the front door and walk out of it is to attain a few points, you may want to reconsider what you're doing. 

It's your life, but why waste it?

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Wait, there's more! As an added bonus, here's Trey Parker and Matt Stone talking about how they viewed Pokémon a long time ago. Still relevant ...