There’s a turf war raging in the world today. Gangs roam the streets doing battle with those who sport enemy colors. They aren’t limited to one neighborhood or city or country. It’s a worldwide epidemic. Coordinating on Facebook and Twitter and … I don’t know SnapChat I guess? They strike deep into their rivals territory then drive (or bike) away. There’s a three way battle for the world raging right under your eyes.
I’m speaking of course about Pokemon Go. It’s been out for a while now but it’s still pretty popular in certain circles. Even though about 75% of the people I know who had played it at launch have stopped the remaining 25% of players are still trying to Catch ‘Em All. And a subset of that group is hard core.
Now I haven’t gotten hard core about Pokemon Go myself because … I’m lazy mostly. But I hear stories, which I assume are true because life is more exciting that way, of people who coordinate the capture and retention of Pokemon Go Gyms. Basically places in the world that are Pokemon Go Gyms can be battled over in the game and if you control a gym you get … I don’t know but I guess it’s good. I’ve never gotten good enough at the game to capture a gym myself. But these folks will literally call their teammates and all drive out to a gym together to capture it, or to re-capture it if another team grabs it. So, according to reliable sources (i.e. coworkers) if you capture one of these gyms and wait there for a few minutes four or five cars will pull up, retake the gym, and then drive off. It sound awesome and also terrifying.
I like Pokemon Go. I started playing again recently because it’s finally summer in Alaska (Pokemon Go was not much fun in the Alaskan Winter, although that probably didn’t stop the hardcore players) and it’s a great excuse to get outside and get some much needed exercise and sunshine. But the idea of coordinating with other people to this level and paying this much attention to it 24/7 … that’s not why I play video games. I’m casual, in all things I’m casual. I have a lot of respect for the hardcore and I see the appeal, but if I ever do capture a gym and then later on I lose it I’m probably not getting out of my chair to go reclaim it. I’ll just say, “Nice while it lasted.” And keep watching my show.