I’m sure you’re aware by now that there’s a game called Pokemon Go taking over people’s sanity. And unless you’ve been living under a graveler, then you also know that the adults are going nuts over this game just as much as the kids. Myself included. And you don’t get any “coolness awards” for not playing, so I don’t want to hear it, hater.
That said, I friggin love this game. I mean, any game that purports that making a squishy, adorable living thing stronger simply requires stardust and candy is really my kind of game. Pretty sure I’m a Pokemon.
At first, I treated it like geocaching, and ran around my neighborhood with my kids in tow, ignoring their pleas for mercy and ardent desires to just go back home where they can play Minecraft in the safety of the air conditioned den. “BUT THERE’S A CLEFAIRY LIKE 200 YARDS AWAY, YOU GUYS. SUCK IT UP!”
At some point, however, I realized that there’s more to this than just poke-treasure-hunting. Oh it’s so much more than that. Upon entering my local park (and having just passed level 5, which, as you know, allows a person to compete with other trainers), I realized that there is a Pokemon “gym.” A virtual battleground where teams can compete. And since it was a rival gym from the color yellow (one of three colors. I’m red. #TeamRed #TeamValor #SuckIt) I could try to beat their champions and make the gym red.
I got a wicked gleam in my eye.
Without thinking too hard about it, I entered the arena with the top contenders, and threw my unsuspecting, just-discovered Pokemon into a battle. And lost of course. Actually I had no idea what I was doing. I kept tapping the screen, and making frustrated little noises while my baby stared at me vacantly from her stroller, and my kids whined about the humidity.
After I lost, I prepared to heal my little dudes and try again, but I heard a shout, and looked up.
Some little snot in a baseball cap, a tween with peach fuzz on his lip and a triumphant grin, was pumping his fist and causing his gang of nerds to holler.
I looked back down at the screen, and realized the gym had changed to a blue color. The turd had beat all the reigning champions, and I’m not even sure how the rules for this thing work, but somehow it wasn’t a yellow gym anymore, and it had gone blue, and his team had taken it right then on the spot.
I glared. We made eye contact. He froze.
And then my three-year-old shouted, “I want a juice box!”
And then I realized that I’m actually a mom of four kids, and what the heck am I doing here trying to engage in a turf war with twelve-year-olds, using mythical characters I bopped on the head with digital Pokeballs to use for later.
The sobering reality lasted as long as it took me to get home. Where I found a squirtle in my neighborhood.