When Pokémon first became a thing in the ‘90s, I wasn’t interested. I was too busy trying to hustle softies for my sticker album.
But then one day the bug bit me, and I became obsessed.
I still remember this one afternoon on our way home, my brother told me that he’d gotten a bootleg copy of the Pokémon game on a floppy disc. I was so super amped to get home to play it with him, but by the time we got to our computer, the disc had gone corrupt.
I still remember the disappointment 16 years later.
Anyway, fast forward to my early twenties during a varsity break. And this is what I was doing with my life.
“Sorry I can’t go to Assembly tonight because I don’t have money…”
I TOTALLY HAVE MONEY I JUST DON’T HAVE A LIFE
Side note: Yes, I named my Pokémon “Clunge” because it’s always funny to name stuff after genitalia.
When I first heard about Pokémon Go earlier this year, I was convinced that it would mean my demise. This promo video gave me a brain boner.
- I couldn’t download it. South Africa was labelled too much of a basic bitch to be deemed worthy of getting access to the app. So I had to use an American Apple ID to download it.
- When I finally downloaded it, I didn’t for a shit understand how it worked. There’s no guide, no help, no description. Just you and your Pokeballs.
- What made the original Pokémon game absolutely incredible; was the storytelling and the feeling of being on a quest. The best games I have ever played, like the best books I have ever read (Harry Potter) all have one thing in common: Every step of the way another achievement is unlocked. At first glance, Pokémon Go didn’t seem to offer the same value.
- My location services failed me, stagnating the game and making it look like Animated Anja is a dronk drol.
- SO. MANY. ZUBATS.
- The servers have been so packed over the past 2 days that I have been unable to play.
But if you think this article is about slandering Pokémon Go, you are wrong.
I LOVE THIS GAME.
- For a long time I haven’t been able to get lost in something as frivolous, yet joyful, as a game. Pokémon Go has brought that childlike excitement back into my life, and I have loved every second of it.
- It’s making people more active. Even the slothiest of humans are running around all over the place, trying to catch ‘em all.
- I have discovered new places because of it. The app forces you to walk to Pokestops to get Pokeballs, and often these are places you would never normally visit.
- It’s created a sense of community. It makes me so amped to see the happy banter around the game on social media. Today a man in his mid-forties got into the lift with me, and as we both pressed the buttons for our floors he commented, “It sounds just like an old game.” So I asked him if he’s tried Pokémon Go, and he immediately dropped his guard and started chatting to me with a massive smile on his face. Before he got out he vowed to start playing the game now. It was really cool.
- The game shows how far we’ve come in terms of gaming. A free virtual reality app on your phone? This would have sound like absolute sorcery to childhood Anja.
And yes, of course the app has caused some kak. But so did Dragon Ball Z, minions, stickeez and any other mass obsession that came straight from Satan.
I am just happy that there’s something that’s making people happy. This year has been filled with so many tragedies, so is it so wrong that something is bringing people joy?