Yeah, I play Pokemon Go.
No, I don’t pay for it. I’m crazy. That don’t make me dumb.
The notorious Pokemon Go map. Not my screenshot. The gyms look different now, too.
But Christmas Day I had one of those experiences that hopefully explains why I find a game intended largely for young kids useful, amusing and worth my while.
I mentioned a while back that in the last year and a half I’ve lost 25 pounds through a combination of diet and exercise. A lot of that exercise is walking. I generally walk somewhere between 4 and 8 kilometers per day. I walk to get to buses and trains. I walk to the store, to the library, even to the shopping mall. And I walk to play Pokemon Go.
So, on Christmas I was home at the ancestral residence, visiting my brother, who still lives there. I took a walk in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening.
In the afternoon I walked off toward the beach. I was playing Pokemon Go, and I was hoping there was a Pokestop in that direction. (There was.)
When I got down to the Pokestop, the map showed me that there was a gym about a quarter mile (about 0.4 KM) away where there was a raid going on for a Pokemon I hadn’t caught yet. It was a neighborhood I was unfamiliar with – I want you to think about that. It was a neighborhood in my home town I was unfamiliar with – but I had the map and figured I’d have no problem finding it.
I had no problem finding it. I went there, entered the raid, beat the monster, and caught it. (It was Buizel.) I also got to see the building – The Glenwood Landing (NY) fire station – and the memorial to its long-term chief that the stop was based on.
Pokemon caught, I returned to the route I was walking.
Did you see what happened there? I walked an extra half mile just to catch a Pokemon. If I was just out walking, I wouldn’t have strayed from my route. I also wouldn’t have seen a place I hadn’t seen before.
I’ve done this in other places…gotten to where I was going and then keeping on because of something I saw on my Pokemon Go map. It encourages you to walk. Well, it encourages me to walk.
There’s more to life than the number of Pokemon you catch, but catching a lot of Pokemon can’t hurt.