I was wandering around Monday afternoon in the Bemidji Pioneer office, phone in hand launching balls at weird little creatures. I’m sure I looked like a crazy person, and based on that first sentence, it certainly sounds that way. The reason for my oddball behavior is because I downloaded “Pokemon Go” onto my phone, wondering what the hell all this hype was about.
Let me say here that I was never a fan of Pokemon. By the time it became a huge phenomenon in the late ’90s, I was too old to care about it. The only thing that gave me any sort of reference to it was “South Park” with the “Chinpokomon” episode. I laughed, thought the premise was ridiculous and continued on with my life.
Until 2016, when Pokemon once again took the world by storm, including me.
Over the weekend, I started hearing more and more about this “Pokemon Go” app. By Monday, it dominated my Facebook feed, Twitter feed and all my favorite pop culture sites. It began to raise my interest. I mean, it is 2016 and a silly game is actually getting people off their butts and outside of their homes — even getting some exercise in? That, dear readers, is pretty damn close to being a miracle in this day and age.
Now, I made the decision to try this thing out. Part of me is embarrassed because I’m a 35 year old man wandering around my office throwing digital balls at odd creatures that pop up on the camera of my phone. I am also embarrassed because I’m not very good at playing this ridiculous game.
The other part of me said “Not only are you a journalist, you love pop culture. You write about it all the time. Also, you are 35 so you are at the right age to not care what anyone thinks about you playing a silly video game.” I like that part of me. He seems legit.
So, I started playing this. It is stupid fun, lets me walk around and look like a lunatic to my fellow co-workers. I got to create a pretty terrible avatar of my character, which took me all of a minute. It asked me to pick a nickname, so I went with the original choice of JoeFroemming.
It is interesting. There is a map that tells me where certain things are. I don’t know what those things are, but they are located at landmarks in the Bemidji area. I am told by this game to venture there, which I have not done yet because I have a job and can’t wander around town because a game encourages me to do so. I think, though, this game will consume my entire weekend.
Here are some picture from my first venture into this weird world I understand very little about:
I now see I had an option to take a photo and not just take a screenshot. But I think you get the picture.