Entry 131: Pokémon Go
Today I witnessed my first Pokémon Go encounter while watching my cousin play the game on his phone.
I took him to the library to rent a few movies and he noticed a Pokémon Gym nearby (a hub for players to battle and train). Behind our library is a nature trail that most people use for jogging, but ever since the game came out, most people are stopping mid-jog to catch more Pokémon. And it so happens that a hub for these Pokémon exists at the entrance to this trail.
We found a spot under a tree and sat on a boulder, and I watched Pokémon Go for the first time. He previously had a Pokémon guarding the Gym along with other players, so the Gym belonged to his Team Valor (one of three existing teams). He decided to train against his own Pokémon, which left the Gym vacant for a mere seconds, and within that timeframe someone nearby already claimed that Gym as their own. Seconds! And the game is proximity-based, so someone literally nearby took the Gym.
It was then that I noticed sounds of Pokémon in the distance. About 30 feet down the trail from us was a middle-aged man looking at his phone, and he had his speakers loud enough for us to hear our Pokémon get destroyed by his squad. He was so close! But then I began to notice another person on his phone across a dirt trail in the opposite direction, and I wasn't sure if he was playing Pokémon Go, too. Then to make things even crazier, every jogger who passed by us was looking at their phone, possibly playing this game.
I've read a fair amount about this game on social media, but witness this in real life is a whole different experience. Personally, I've enjoyed playing Pokémon on the Gameboy years ago, and I don't have a phone capable of running Pokémon Go, but I wouldn't want to get myself stuck in a world like that. I can at least say that I appreciate it from a third-person perspective.