I had intended to write a simple post relating my thoughts on Pokemon Go. Something touching upon how it works, how fun it could be, etc… That was the plan. But, as with all of the best laid plans, something happened that I didn’t see coming. Shortly after the launch of Pokemon Go, there was a sudden backlash towards it. A wave of ridicule and derision that I never saw coming, and still don’t fully understand. Therefore, my simple post reviewing the game morphed into this. An answer to the backlash.
Before I start, there are things to say about Pokemon Go. Yes, there are people being morons with it. If you trespass, play while driving, or commit some other detrimental action while playing, you need to be ridiculed because you’re being stupid and making the rest of us look bad. All of the bad though, doesn’t mean that there aren’t positives.
My wife and I were at the park not took long ago walking and encountered a group of teens walking together, having a good time, and playing Pokemon Go. I’ve encountered people playing all over the place, simply having fun. This is not a negative. It’s actually rather incredible. It’s a game that gets you moving, exploring, and socializing. I can’t see the bad aspect of this. I’ve read of hospitals using it to get kids up and about that are recovering from an ailment. This is a wonderful thing.
Still, there can’t be something popular without people having to react to it. Based on what I’ve seen, the criticism of Pokemon Go can be broken down into three groups, along with a fourth group that I admire and am addressing first:
There are very few memes for this that I can find because these people note that Pokemon Go is a thing, then move on with their lives. Many only remember Pokemon from the late 90’s. This is the attitude that I hope I have with fads that I’m not interested in. I admire these people. Something is happening, it doesn’t affect their life, they look at, then carry on. Kudos to these people. You guys rock.
Even as a practicing Christian (anyone know why we call this kind of thing practice???), I don’t get this one. The primary problem with it, aside from the use of Kermit, is that it presents two things as being mutually exclusive. Based on these memes, you can’t possible be spiritual and play a game. This is simply an impossibility. But, if you put in two other actions, it shows just how absurd this is. For instance, “Some of you folk should be going to Church with the same vigor with which you mow your lawn.” That’s a crazy statement, but represents the same idea. This group doesn’t anger me at all, they just mystify me.
All of my life, I’ve told people, if you want to criticize me or make fun of me, just make it funny. That’s all I ask. That is what these people are doing with Pokemon Go. I’ve no issue with this. If you can’t take humor, then you need to examine yourself. So, my hat’s off to these people. So long as your humorous, I say keep it coming.
These people man…wow. These people are the opposite of the indifferent I wrote about above. These people are incapable of letting something that isn’t changing their lives in any way from passing by without a snarky comment. These people actually make me angry with their needless anger and criticism. I guess I react more strongly to this than some may because I play Pokemon Go with my son. Going by these memes, I’m a bad father, I don’t know how to work hard, and am apparently not a productive member of society.
Seriously, look at the memes above. Apparently, if you have any pastime that isn’t productive in some way, you will never understand the value of hard work. What if that meme said this: “Teach your kids the value of a hard day’s work, so they don’t grow up and sit on the couch all weekend watching football.” It’s exactly the same meaning for the most part, except…except no one in their right mind would post such a thing because it’s an asinine statement. Everyone has something they do in their down time, something they enjoy. Be it watching sports, reading, hiking, or playing games, including Pokemon Go.
As I point out at the start of this post, at least Pokemon Go is getting people outside. They’re meeting people, having fun, etc… There is very little negative, but some people just have a mindset that prevents them from keeping their thoughts to themselves. A mindset that says, I don’t do this, I don’t understand it, but I must insult those that do because I simply can’t help myself.
Actually, I think my wife put this far better on Facebook than I ever could have here:
So, I continue to see these clever little memes being posted about how we should be spending more time chasing Jesus than Pokemon, and how we don’t have time for Pokemon because we are adults and have so much to do. Maybe so. But are you on Facebook, scrolling thru your news feed to find these clever little sayings to post? Someone also sat at their computer and took the time to make these cute little pictures for your amusement. Couldn’t this time be spent doing all these things that keep you so busy, or digging deeper into God’s word instead of posting about it on Facebook? The point? Everybody has a pastime. Everybody has different interests and hobbies they enjoy. I don’t understand the negativity. I really don’t. Is it hurting you personally for someone to play a game they enjoy? Water your own lawn and I’ll worry about mine. #pokemongo
Oh, she’s a keeper.
I don’t get it guys. I don’t get why there are people that simply feel that they must pee on the parade. And, you know what? I’m happy that I don’t get it. I don’t want that mindset. As I said earlier, if something’s going on that I don’t get or participate in, I hope that I’m the person that shrugs my shoulders and moves on. That’s the best attitude to have about it. And really, you have to wonder, looking at the time and effort people have spent ridiculing Pokemon Go, are the ones playing Pokemon Go really the ones that need to get life?
Brandon Nicholson is a blogger for TMRzoo.com and the founder of Just Another Video Game Blog and covers all gaming consoles and platforms including Sony Playstation 3 and PS4, Microsoft XBOX One and XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii, Sony PSP and computer games designed for Mac OS, Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems. Brandon provides his readers with reviews, previews, release dates and up to date gaming industry news, trailers and rumors.