Games, health, Mental Health, Uncategorized

Pokemon Go – What It Is, and Why You Should Play It

Hello fellow Pokemon trainers!!

So, if you’re like me, and have been going to work early just to sit in the parking lot and catch Pokemon, then this post is just for you!

If you’re not a Pokemon fan, have no idea what it is, or if you’re wondering how this showed up in your “Apple Pie Recipe” feed, then stick around to learn of the awesomeness that is Pokemon Go, and why it’s more than just a popular game that’s causing traffic!

Pokemon Go Crash Course

Pokemon Go (Poke-ee-mon, Poke-eh-mon, G0)- noun 1. An app based on the Pokemon games and TV series that emerged in the early 90s. 2. A social platform that allows people to battle and capture various types of animals with extraordinary abilities, known as Pokemon. 3. A common excuse for J-walking.

In a nutshell, Pokemon Go is an app that allows its players to catch Pokemon in “real life” by using the camera on smart phones to make it appear as if they are actually in front of them. The app also offers more inclusive content such as Gyms and Poke-Stops. Gyms are places–often popular town sites (ex. your grocery store)–where people can meet up and battle the Pokemon that they have caught. Poke-Stops are similar to gyms, but instead of allowing players to battle, they serve as a free place to get various items such as Pokeballs (used to catch Pokemon), potions (used to heal Pokemon in battle), and many others.

Benefits of Pokemon Go

1) Gets you out of your house

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Many videogames today are restricted to only indoor use. Pokemon Go, however, completely changes the game (see what I did there). By having thousands of Pokemon spread out for miles, players are encouraged to travel far from home to catch, battle, and befriend different types of Pokemon.

There are different types of Pokemon–Fire, Water, Grass, Bug, Dragon, and Ghost, just to name a few. Depending on their type, certain Pokemon can only be found in certain places at certain times. For example, if you wanted to catch a Water type Pokemon, your best bet would be to go to a place where there is a lot of water, such as the beach. Or, if you’re lucky, a Water type Pokemon might pop up while its raining. By having different types of Pokemon in different types of areas, Pokemon Go allows its players to cover lots of ground and explore places they’ve never been to!

2) Brings People Together

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Today, there are over thousands of Pokemon Trainers! There are people who have been fans of Pokemon ever since the first game, Pokemon Red/Blue, came out on Gameboy; and there are people who have just downloaded the app out of curiosity. Either way, Pokemon Go has a fanbase of all ages and backgrounds. There are organized meet-ups and events, Facebook pages and groups, and plenty of blogs and articles that are sharing the love of Pokemon!

I can’t tell you how many people I have met by just playing this game, the number is just too large! Whenever I’m playing and I see someone else playing as well, we give each other a smile and nod, which, in today’s world, is great human-stranger interaction. Pokemon Go has created a community of immense diversity: people of all races, ages, genders, sexualities, religious beliefs, political views, and food preferences have something to talk and laugh about, which I think is just freaking beautiful. *wipes tear*

3) Encourages Exercise

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Is it bad to say that I’ve gotten more exercise than I have in the last couple of months because of a game? That’s rhetorical question, I know how bad my exercise habits are…

With that said, Pokemon Go is the fitness app I thought I’d never have. Now if you’re like me and have a wonderful friendship with your bed, going to the gym seems like an unnecessary priority. I’ve tried various wellness apps, from ones that remind me to eat healthy with a smile, to those that scream at me to stop be a lazy blob and go for an 8 mile run. Needless to say, I’ve tried them all, and Pokemon Go is the first that actually works. Maybe its my love for video games that help me get off my couch, or perhaps its the shear adventurous side of me that makes me want to catch them all; but regardless of the reason, Pokemon Go has helped me reach my step goal on my FitBit almost every day, and that alone is pretty extraordinary.

4) Promotes Better Mental Health

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As someone who suffers from clinical Depression, Anxiety, and PTSD, “being happy” doesn’t always come easy. However, I can definitely say that Pokemon Go has helped me significantly. Due to all the benefits that I have listed above, this app has helped me fight against the urges of staying indoors and shutting myself in from the world. It gives me a reason to go outside into the sun, it gives me a reason to walk down my neighborhood street, it gives me a reason to talk to someone, it gives me a reason to be excited for the day. When I wake up, I ask myself, “What kind of Pokemon will I catch today?” Considering that mental illnesses commonly strap people to their beds, that simple question has worked wonders for people across the globe, encouraging them to start a new day.

Even if you do not have a mental illness, Pokemon Go is also beneficial for the above reasons. It can act as a stress reliever, a way to connect to people, or bring out your inner child! Hurray for better mental health!

5) YOU GET TO BE A FREAKING POKEMON TRAINER

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Here’s the obvious one. If you were to tell me that you wouldn’t love to put your life on hold and go out, explore the world, and catch, battle, and befriend Pokemon along the way, you’re lying… or you don’t like fun. Ok, maybe that’s a bit harsh, but come on, you have to admit that would be cool! Pokemon Go is the next best thing… that is until we can genetically engineered Pokemon into the real world. Nevertheless, the developers of Pokemon Go have announced that this is only the beginning. In the near future, the app will feature more content and user interactions, including being able to trade Pokemon with different trainers, and battle anyone you meet. The future is only looking brighter for Pokemon trainers across the world.

Conclusion

Get Pokemon Go. Even if nothing in this article appealed to you, just download it to try if for yourself. It’s free. FREE. And you can delete it at anytime, that is if you don’t want to catch em’ all first.

Pokemon Go is for everyone, and has many more benefits than just being a fun game to play in your free time. This app is truly revolutionary, and I believe it has started a pathway for future game apps to come.

Good luck fellow Pokemon trainers, and stay safe. I’ll see you at the Gym.

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