If you ever considered yourself a part of the mega-movement that is Pokémon culture, you heard about this little game called “Pokémon GO” months ago back when it was announced last year. A free-to-play smartphone-based Pokémon game dropping some time in summer that’ll have you collecting Pokémon in the real world. Naturally, there was some skepticism as to how it would work. So the world waited, and whether you thought it’d be great or a bust, no one could’ve predicted just how big of a deal this game would be just 4 days into launch.
Saturday night college parties have been replaced with Pokémon GO meet-ups across college campuses around the country. Neighbors who have lived next to each other for months and years are meeting for the first time to discover local Pokémon. Pokémon GO took the basic concepts of the Gameboy-based RPG, simplified it further, and most importantly, made it interactive in real-time. To catch or hatch new Pokémon, you must explore the real world around you. It’s clear with the literal millions of people playing, Pokémon GO isn’t just a game, it’s a lifestyle; so don’t be surprised if this new addiction has you planning regular jogs just so you can hatch some Eggs or challenge that gym across town.
So what else can you expect from a game that takes the world by storm like Pokémon GO? You guessed it, crazy ass news stories to go along with the truckloads of hype. Any crazy thing you can think of has probably actually happened, from people stumbling upon dead bodies, Pokémon gyms in odd locations, to even some social trolling of the Westboro Baptist Church. But what we’re taking away from all these insane stories is the different things Pokémon GO can do for players besides just being an addictive smartphone app.
Pokémon GO gets people friends!!
There’s the story of this guy whose current house was a former church. And since Pokemon GO decided to deem the old church as a gym location, the current tenant now has players parking up outside his driveway to take a shot at the gym. He even made friends with the current owner of the gym. Talk about networking.
Living in an old church means many things. Today it means my house is a Pokémon Go gym. This should be fascinating.— Boon Sheridan (@boonerang) July 9, 2016
This is what I'm a little leery of. People pulled up, blocking my drive way as they sit on their phones. pic.twitter.com/WpRbilk6g6— Boon Sheridan (@boonerang) July 10, 2016
Woohoo! I met the owner of my gym. Nice guy. pic.twitter.com/uujdC3JYbA— Boon Sheridan (@boonerang) July 10, 2016
Pokémon GO fights for Equality!!
If you’ve been playing over these past few days, you probably noticed that gyms are typically city landmarks marked via Google Maps. These can be things like parks, Chiptoles, or everyone’s most hated religious group, the Westboro Baptist Church! Through some clever Pokémon naming, trainers good enough to rule the Westboro Baptist Gym are letting challengers know, that while the church may be a place of hatred, the gym is a place that celebrates equal love.
Pokémon GO Finds Missing People
When we say “missing people”, we kind of mean already dead missing people, unfortunately. A teenage girl in Wyoming was out early in the morning trying to catch a water Pokémon near a local body of water when she ended up finding a lot more than that. A dead body washed up near the location of the Pokémon. Pokémon GO. One-part Pokémon simulator. One-part mystery solver.
Gamer looks for Pokemon, finds dead body https://t.co/9MP66ySEHB— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 10, 2016
Pokémon GO Gets You All in Your Feels
Although it can be easy to focus on all the negative stories associated with this new trend, like robbers using it to lure in mug victims, or police stations barring people from getting their precious Sandshrews, you gotta love all the feel good stories coming out of people’s experiences with the new game. Like this guy meeting two adorable little kids who came to his doorstep to catch a Pikachu.
So what do you think of the world’s newest cultural phenomenon? Do think it’s something that’s going to stick around for a while, or a fad that’ll burn out in a week or so? Well, whether you’re a Pokémon hater or future Pokémon master, we all can agree that the memes have surely been hilarious.