It’s amazing isn’t it. Jaw-looseningly, lip-flappingly, eye-squintingly incredible. Facebook, Reddit, Imgur, Twitter feeds are frothing at their various openings with Pokemon pictures and stories and memes; Kotaku’s Pokemon Go posts are reportedly hitting half a million views in seconds flat; it seems impossible to move on the internet without being elbow-barged by someone raucously yelling about it, all of a sudden. You can incredulously ask what year it is if you like, but no one will care, because we all did that when Jurassic Park 9 came out.
The Real World
Of course, the big story really is how this PokeFever *cough* has come screaming into the REAL world, as if any of us can remember what that is. People have taken to the vicinity of me to not only discuss the game in loud, irritating tones of over-excitement, but to sort of, play it AT me too. A brisk walk to Dominos in the tapering July drizzle takes 25 minutes longer because three of you keep stopping to catch mysterious levitating Rattatas; there’s hysteria as someone spots a Rhyhorn; fierce comparison as Zubats are exchanged for Zubat ‘candy’. My flatmate regales me with the story of spotting an unfamiliar icon on the map; he follows it to discover someone is using the unnervingly named Lure Module, and there is a CROWD of strangers taking advantage.
The game isn’t even out over here yet.
Anyway, you probably read that with the disregard I intended but, in reality I’m all for this bizarreo clash of the world’s greatest gaming IP and haring about the place like Robert Webb’s Sir Digby Chicken Caesar. I’m an old school Pokemon fan like most ‘millennials’ *cough*; I just, y’know, want to be involved.
When it first broke cover and hit the US Appstore and its Android counterparts, I looked on, intrigued. I’d changed my AppStore location in the past to get hold of Neko Atsume, the adorable cat game, I could quite easily do the same for this. But would I bother? No. No I would wait for its legitimate regional release. Surely that is mere hours away?
It was not hours. It was longer. I am still waiting. Waiting and waiting, and all the while Pokemon Go is bumrushing the world, storming through the gates and setting everything on fire, while I stand nearby and watch, nodding at words I recognise and smiling politely.
It’s strange mostly because I manage to miss games all the time, I manage to escape even the most well-budgeted, emblazoned, rightfully revered and well-publicised hits. I’m still yet to play Overwatch, for example. Pokemon Go though, seems to be entirely unavoidable in a new way, a way that is the entertainment equivalent of a social-tsunami, a colossal, crashing crest of compulsory commune. Ah. Alliteration.
So while my friends excitedly discuss who has captured what and where they got said capture from, who has control of the nearby gym, and how many children they managed to sell ice creams to via a well timed Lure Module, the world’s most sociable game is currently making me feel, well, left out.
I look ahead to its release with increasing anxiety. How far behind will I be? Will I be forever incapable of joining in with this maelstrom of gaming activity, something I should be front and centre for, because of everyone’s insanely high level Pokemon? Will I even be able to play the game, given how much of a prat I feel taking a selfie; nevermind being required to gallivant through the streets brandishing my phone camera at what appears to be nothing at all and screaming YES I GOT YOU YOU LITTLE PIECE OF SHIT PIDGEY – TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT ME. It’s a minefield, and impressive I’ve managed to make playing a game such a big deal right? Right.
Anyway. That’s quite enough ineptitude for one post.
Playing Pokemon Go yourself? Waiting in agony like me? Not even slightly bothered by Pokemon anymore? Drop me a comment below and let me know. More soon, on Respawn!