During a Dark Time in The World, POKEMON GO is a Bright Light Uniting People in Fun and Joy

We are living in some dark and depressing times. As you have probably already heard, yesterday America was rocked by the latest senseless shootings that have left several human beings dead. I’m not going to get into the politics of this stuff, but needless to say, a lot of people were feeling scared, angry, sad, and confused. 

After talking to my kids about the things that were going on because it was all over the news, they were a little apprehensive about leaving the house and going outside. I downloaded Pokemon Go the night before, so I opened up the app to show it to them. They immediately got excited. My brothers had already downloaded the app so I called them to set a time to meet up later that evening to go on a hunt to catch some Pokemon. We just all had to get out of the house and have a little fun.

We went out, got some milkshakes, and the Pokemon hunt began! We were traveling all over the place looking for Pokemon to catch. It started in the parking lot in the shopping center where we got our milkshakes, and that’s when I saw it: a couple sitting in a car with their smiling faces deep in their phones. I immediately knew what they were doing. They looked up at me and I flashed them a thumbs up, they both had huge smiles on their faces as they offered me a thumbs up in return. It was an immediate unspoken bond of Pokemon. After catching their Pokemon, they got out of the car and we exchanged a few words about how awesome Pokemon Go was, and everyone continued on their way. I thought it was a fun coincidence and didn’t think much more of it.

We ultimately ended up at a park with a ton of landmarks to refill on Pokeballs and other supplies, and there were also lots of Pokemon to catch. While we were all running around looking for Pokemon, we came across several other people doing the exact same thing. I don’t know why, but I didn’t think other people would be out catching Pokemon like that, but they were and there we a ton of them! It was awesome!

There were so many people we met on our little adventure and we had lots of good conversations with them. These were complete strangers with the like-minded goal of catching Pokemon and leveling up. We shared stories about the Pokemon we’ve caught, where we found them, gave tips and advice, and just talked about how much fun we were all having. 

Everyone had huge smiles on their faces there was non-stop laughing and cheers as people would gather around to watch each other catch the Pokemon they had found. Everyone was running around in newly-formed groups of people that had never met before and there was this awesome unity of people of all ages, races, nationalities, and religions coming together to embark on the epic adventure of finding and catching Pokemon. It was really quite an amazing, unexpected experience. I’ve never really experienced anything like this before.

I thought we would go out for about an hour, the kids would get tired, and we’d go home. But before we knew it, it was 11pm, the kids were pumped and excited, and we had to reluctantly call it a night because all the adults had work in the morning. I honestly haven’t had that much fun playing around outside in a long time. It was really quite refreshing and I can’t wait to do it again with my family and friends!

I thought maybe we’d see one or two other people out hunting Pokemon, but the number of people out there that we bonded with was staggering. From my experience last night, Pokemon Go is uniting people, forming bonds, and strengthening the community, and people are having a blast using it and finding joy and happiness in it. Pokemon Go is a bright light in a dark time. If it’s like that in the community I’m in, I imagine it’s happening like that in communities all over the nation and the world. I hope it is! 

This is just from my own personal experience. I’m not here to talk about the gameplay or how the app is performing. I just wanted to talk about the social aspect of it and how I see it as a good, fun, and positive thing to be a part of. Get out there, explore your community, meet new people, make new friends, catch Pokemon, and level up in the process! 

With bad things happening in the world, it’s comforting to know that there are other good people out there in our communities doing good and having fun. How cool is it that a game like Pokemon Go could help bring those people together and strengthen communities? This is a time in which we NEED to unite with each other, and if Pokemon Go can help play a small part in that unification...awesome!

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