Pokemon Go Isn’t Dead

Since exploding into cultural phenomena in 2016, Pokémon Go has tricked thousands of Pokefans to spend time outside. However, the app faded soon after its original explosion. Sweaty, sunburned gamers returned home at the end of the summer, tucked away their Eevees, and promptly forgot about Pokémon Go. Only the most dedicated players remain.

Unlike the disappointing release and subsequent updates of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Pokemon Go has since added many interactive improvements. 

You can now battle Team Rocket, the three trainers or your own friends. In return for rare Pokémon, Professor Willow now has special “field research” quests you can complete. There’s hundreds of new Pokémon to catch and new rewards for walking certain distances. 

After resetting the password to my own account, I was hit with a wave of nostalgia. Everything was right where I’d left it. Even my twenty-three Pidgeys all named “Birb.” After three days of figuring out the new updates, I’d been sucked back into the wonderful world of monster collection. Last Saturday, I spent an entire three hours in the city stocking up on pokeballs and chasing after Gastlys. But I’m only one part of a prominent trend. Last August, the game brought in $176 million for Ninantic, developers of Pokemon Go. In May 2018, Pokemon Go reached 147 million users, more than any month since its launch. 

At a glance, this seems ridiculous for a game that’s just about capturing adorable creatures and pitting them against each other. So why have so many people, including me (a non-Pokemon player) flocked to this game? It’s not the fancy new quests or new battle partners.  

It’s about collection. Your Pokedex is more like a stamp or coin collection than the progress map of Candy Crush. I’m addicted to this game because I want to catch them all. I’m addicted to the sense of satisfaction I feel each time a Pokeball lands. The gameplay is basic, but the result of the gameplay, possessing the Pokemon, is what truly engages players.

I remember first discovering another fellow Pokemon Go player at Wheatley. I won’t call them out (but if that’s you, open my gifts). It was a moment of connection, recognizing another obsessive hoarder who accepts collecting rat creatures as the norm. While I don’t see them on a daily basis, it’s a nice feeling, to know there’s a community out thereof fanatics like myself.

Also my trainer code is 9656 1006 9248 (add me).

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