Remembering the 1990s when my kid collected Pokémon cards with a vengeance, who would have thought to hold on to them? No doubt they are now worth a fortune given the recent craze of Pokémon Go. And for the uninitiated, this is an online video game/craze that has half the world running around day and night collecting things like Dragonite, Gyarados, Magic Carps, Starmies, Meowths, Weedles and a whole list of things that make the names in Harry Potter sound like practice. (I could not even pronounce those). The parent company of Pokémon Go, Nintendo, reports stock up 24 percent, which translates into $9 billion dollars. Makes one a little sick at not having invested. After calming my stock market depression, a young client of mine took me to the streets to learn about Pokémon Go. And what a wild ride, or run. I am not cool enough to even attempt to explain this game but cool enough for those in the know to say I am incubating an egg which will only hatch after I put in 10 kilometers of traipsing around LA. At first I thought it required a 10K run. No way. But now I am awaiting the hatching of my egg in a mere four more Ks. Which means I will be running through the hood today to capture more creatures.
In brief, this is a game played off an app (application for those over 60) where you search for 142 creatures and collect points? Fake candy? Who knows? Mainly you collect creatures and work your way up the Pokémon ladder so that you can join a team and eventually become a Master. Posted online are tips, tricks, and even urban legends. It is not a sit-in-you-seat kind of game. You must travel throughout your neighborhood to collect creatures. When you see people glued to their phones they are no longer waiting to make the next BIG deal, they are playing Pokémon; walking, running, biking, even driving. That being said, it has its elements of danger.
Hospitals and doctor's offices report injuries from people walking into doors, trees, falling off bikes or skateboards. Two people fell 80 feet off a cliff near San Diego while paying too much attention to their phone. A couple got locked in a cemetery overnight neglecting their closure time and locked doors. One young player was apparently stabbed in Oregon for running on private property. One teenager was searching for a water Pokémon and found a dead body in Wyoming. Phones have been stolen off the unassuming. I almost became a crosswalk chalk outline as cars came to a screeching halt. Its infectious pull on one is to keep going at all costs.
I salute this game for doing what no parent or gym class has been able to do. Pokémon Go has gotten kids, and even adults, off their butts and has them running around 24/7 collecting various mythic icons on their phones. It has created a new generation of people getting exercise, people meeting others, new friendships being forged out of the teams. All for no real reason. It is ridiculously funny and fun. And just so you can actually sound intellectually hip, check out some Pokéstops today and bring home an incubator and an egg. Let me know when you hatch.