I went to Seapoint outdoor gym with my partner over the weekend. It was a warm, clear 25° day. As we parked I noticed a big, no, a huge group of people huddled together. My first reaction was to panic,I assumed that someone had been hurt and needed help. I have first aid training, having to actually help someone is pretty much my idea of a nightmare. As we walked closer to the people I noticed with horror that there was no noise, none of these people were talking, none were looking at each other or at the world, the beautiful, sun-filled world. They were all playing Pokemon Go.
They were all playing Pokemon Go.
WHAT? I was looking at hundreds of people, all different types of people, varying in age,
I was looking at hundreds of people, all different types of people, varying in age, colour and creed. All of them furiously fingering their cellphone screens. I thought to myself, what is life. What is this reality? There were only a few of us strange human beings who were spending time together, talking, walking, running, reading, writing, picnicking, kissing and sitting in the glorious winter sun. Only a few of us.
Yes, fingering. I thought to myself, what is life. What is this reality? There were only a few of us strange human beings who were spending time together, talking, walking, running, reading, writing, picnicking, kissing and sitting in the glorious winter sun. Only a few of us.
I thought to myself, what is life? What is this reality? There were only a few of us strange human beings who were spending time together, talking, walking, running, reading, writing, picnicking, kissing and sitting in the glorious winter sun. Only a few of us.
As time passed I observed mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandmothers and grandfathers, friends and couples showing each other and learning how to ‘Catch Them All’. My mind began to fly, as it so often does, into a world where everything is for learning , bettering and equipping yourself with the right tools to be the best possible version of yourself.
Now, before I carry on, let me explain to you that I know absolutely nothing about Pokemon Go. I don’t know how it works or why it exists but here are my thoughts.
It gets people outside into the sun, into the light, out of their bedrooms and off the couch. It gets hearts racing, pumps blood through your body and gets you to laugh as you bump into each other while you run, with your head down, looking at your phone to see where this make-believe computerised creature is.
It gets families, friends and couples to spend time together. Or at least to pretend to spend time together. Fake it ’till you make it right?! Families, friends and couples spend their weekends outside, running and shouting strange phrases at each other. They laugh and walk or run around. Sounds good. And it’s free.
I will never play this game. I think that is it absolutely ridiculous but here are some suggestions on how to use it as an awesome tool for integration, historical exploration and all round good.
1.How about putting rare Pokemon in historical places. I was informed by a friend of mine that the game gives brief blurbs when you arrive at an artwork or mural. Sadly these seem only to be in popular areas in the CBD.
2.Why not make this game an integration tool. Not in like a lame let’s all get-together way, but in a sneaky, come and see a place you probably have never seen kind of way. Connect with people who have open spaces and integrated spaces outside of the CBD and encourage people to see new things in their own city.
3. Encourage public transport use. Put Pokemon on trains and buses and taxis. Involve the city without actually dealing with them because they are useless at the best of times. Sigh. But why not make it an integrated adventure.
4.Encourage street vendors to pop up at Poke-stops. Pop-up markets and food stalls for people. Encourage human interaction. Interpersonal skills are still a necessary art in this day and age.
5. Start a Pokemon Go dating site. I was convinced that single guys were using the game to check out girls and vice versa. I can not believe adult humans are playing this game but my feelings aside, use the tool to connect awkward, shy individuals. It is happening already, with or without you dear app creator.
That is all. I am done. Oh wait, you should also offer businesses the option of paying for publicity. If there is a Pokemon that is rare, you should auction it to a business or shopping centre or theme park or beach front. This will bring people to a venue and you will get paid.
Also, maybe you should hire me. I’m full of lame ideas.
*image sourced from google images – Jocelyn B Alvarez. *