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Tales of a Pokemon GO! Trainer

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, Aug. 22, 2016

It was a blisteringly hot Thursday morning when my nine-year-old pupil pulled out a cell phone and opened an app saying, “There is a Ponyta in the area!” Having grown up in a Pokemon World, and knowing a good chunk of the original 151 pokemon, I said, “Wait, don't tell me you are playing that game that resulted in those two boys walking off an ocean bluff in Encinitas, led three girls to a dead body in San Diego Park, and is the culprit for all those stolen smartphones.” A few minutes later, I found myself in the Google Play store getting ready to download a game that was going to responsible for draining the power out of my cell phone and frequent, impromptu breaks at work.

If your town is anything like my small town, then you might have noticed the rise in groups of young people hanging around outside, cell phones in their hands while playing this game. The first thing I noticed was that the people playing also looked nerdy, so more power to the game developers that have come up with a game that gets ordinary people out of their homes in the middle of day and into public spaces.

I have been playing the game for a little over two weeks now and I am going to tell you three stories of firsthand accounts while playing the game.

Story One: The Rescinded Ride
While walking home after school, I decided to make a detour to a park where the Pokestops were ample. I also had a few eggs set up in incubators, so the extra steps would not have hurt. At one point, my friend and I were standing nearby a road when a minivan pulled up close to the curb and began reversing very quickly to our location. The window rolled down and I saw one of my former colleagues from a school I worked at say, “Hey! Are you guys okay? Do you need a ride?” I looked up and said, “Oh no, my car is up the hill, we're walking distance from this park. We are playing Pokemon GO!.” My colleague's face switched from concern to shock followed by, “Oh, in that case, Never Mind!” The car sped away very quickly leaving me in a situation where I knew I would have some explaining to do to avoid any future work confrontations.

Story Two: The Last Pokestop
At the very end of a Friday night, I goaded my fellow pokemon trainer to walk to one last pokestop even though it was in a poorly lit area. As we approached the fence, I noticed a van parked on the roadside adjacent to the pokestop location. I exclaimed, “Look! It is right there, next to that creepy looking van.” But as we walked closer, I just realized how awful it would be if strange-looking vans got in the habit of parking next to pokestops after the sunset.

Story Three: The Religious Place of Worship
The award for the most haunting story goes to an out of the way that was supposedly located in the inside of a faith-based church. Curiosity won over my best judgement, so I said, “Let's walk close to the location, pick up what we can from across the street, and then head back.” My phone kept telling me the stop was too far away, so I began walking closer. There was a barricade in front of the parking lot that I refused to cross, but it did not stop my friend. I started to get a gut-wrenching bad feeling about the whole scenario because I began to believe that the pokestop was located inside the church and that we would have to trespass much further than would make me feel comfortable. I stood my ground and refused to walk any closer. The whole encounter with the pokestop located in the church reminded me of a set-up for a horror movie.

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PaulEberhardt at 8:08AM, Aug. 25, 2016

Don't get me started on this &/%&§%$ing #+"§%3! ... Just. Don't.

bravo1102 at 5:57PM, Aug. 22, 2016

Funny stuff. So the rest of the world is finally catching up to what I did on the Yorktown battle field. Run off up and down and all over looking at the markers.

KimLuster at 11:06AM, Aug. 22, 2016

Gawwwdd I wanted to kill my son...!! During a recent beach trip, he kept wanting to divert us toward landmarks, piers, bars (yes, he's a minor...) because he said Pokemons were there... It was only mildly aggravating though, and it did make him walk around a LOT more than usual... so there's that!!

Prototype at 7:21AM, Aug. 22, 2016

Sure, but I feel that posted on the front page it becomes an ad for a game that a webcomic site is now actively promoting. I like the game so I'm not hating the product, the text or the author but the whole thing feels like a hidden ad. The only thing missing is a "Download pokemon go today!" text.

kawaiidaigakusei at 6:21AM, Aug. 22, 2016

I am pretty sure it is related to comics because the cartoon came out ten years ago and I am sure there are pokemon comics. Anything animated, video game related, comic pop culture, or something you might see at a comic convention is appropriate subject matter in my book. I wanted to add that I tried to avoid the bandwagon as long as I could, but I caught a Cubone and Sandshrew on my first day and it was game over from that point.

Banes at 6:01AM, Aug. 22, 2016

Loved the stories, kawaii, thanks! The co-worker's reaction sounds odd. The widespread, MASSIVE success of this game is pretty incredible to see. They certainly tapped into something people want!

Banes at 5:59AM, Aug. 22, 2016

There's a park right across from my house where many people roamed into the wee hours of the night. I heard the police have taken to kicking everyone out at midnight. I guess it's for the public safety and avoiding creepy vans and so forth. But it's annoying that they would shut down everyone's fun like that.

Banes at 5:57AM, Aug. 22, 2016

@paladi167 - "Pokemon, tough!" sounds like a name for the sequel!

paladi167 at 5:43AM, Aug. 22, 2016

As another pokemon go player (though only ever on planned outings as I drive to work, and my home has no GPS signal or no internet) I've been lucky and never come across any creepy things like you mention above, in fact, I've even been so lucky as to start a couple of short conversations with fellow poke-catchers. My advice: if you can't get the pokestop without leaving the pavement/path/park - don't try make a note of pokestops that look to be inside buildings, as the game actively discourages trespassing if a pokestop is in a location that you think *might* be dangerous at certain times of day - avoid it at those times and an hour window on either side there will always be someone who disapproves of good things or approves of bad things... take the second world war, for example, or Galileo's discovery about the solar system..... also, I do think the game acts a little bit like natural selection - if someone's stupid enough to get themselves killed over pokemon, tough!

cdmalcolm1 at 5:24AM, Aug. 22, 2016

this game is nuts. I'm just surprised it not like the anime itself. I'm sure they will add to it over time. Not everywhere even has pokemon. I left the game on for like an hour just walking around and nothing. I just turned it off. I try to play when I'm going to somewhere I've never been just to get a different pokemon. most of the time there are none around. It does chew through my battery big time due to the GPS feature.

Prototype at 5:19AM, Aug. 22, 2016

I play pokemon go also. It's fun. I wonder though, is this a paid for ad/sponsor kind of deal? If not it seems better suited for a topic in the forum. Not hating on the text itself, I just prefer comic related posts on the front page. :/

VinoMas at 2:27AM, Aug. 22, 2016

I love your avatar!

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