These are the 5 Life Lessons I Learned while playing Pokémon Go with my family, friends and strangers. I have been playing since 2016 so there are more lessons but these were the most meaningful to me.
Common Goals Lead to Common Souls
Okay, the rhyme scheme of that phrase might be over the top but it has been proven to be true over and over. I have played Pokémon Go all around the world. I always find friendly people that are ready to team up and take over some gyms. Even when language is a barrier, we all speak Pokémon and thank goodness for Google translate.
My favorite adventure was in Spain. I arrived in Madrid 4 hours before I could check into my AirBNB. When I arrived at the neighborhood train station, there, just happened, to be 3 raids happening. I joined up with one group and they proceeded to guide me around for the next 3 hours. It was so much fun and they would passionately share the information about each gym and stop that we visited. I am still friends with them in Pokémon Go and I regularly get Gifts (and thus eggs) from Madrid.
Walk Your Path but Avoid Wrath
My rhymes are out of hand but sometimes you have to just go with the developing theme.
There are always people ready to judge you. Throughout my travels, people have teased me about playing Pokémon Go. Strangers will look at me and sniff condescendingly as they say “People still play that?” However, I like it. I have fun playing and that is what matters. I’m just a mediocre player that enjoys collecting on a daily basis.
On the other hand, some people tell me upsetting stories of Pokémon players generally being unsafe. No game is worth causing yourself or someone else lasting damage. Don’t trespass at someone’s house to catch a Pokémon. Don’t try to play and drive. Be safe, follow rules.
It’s a Great Day when your Kids Play
I love playing any games with my kids. Last summer, we took the iPads everywhere so we could all play. I joined Discord so we could know where the group raids were and we could show up with 4 players. Our minivan got to be pretty well known for a few months. We were raiding at least once a week.
The best part of all of it was having these great experiences together.
They are not as into it this summer as they were last summer. We had lots of trouble with our portable wifi and GPS which dulled the game for them. They still play with my phone and we still talk about Pokémon quite a bit but their interests have shifted to playing with Pokémon cards. I love it when we do play even if it is less seldom.
A Game Break is Okay to Take
There have been several times over the last three years where I could not keep up with my daily PokéGoals. There are just sometimes where there are other higher priorities. It’s Okay. The game survives and continues without you. You can return when you are ready.
Furthermore, if you need to quit, it is fine – it is just a game. You should play the game while you are having fun otherwise there is no point to playing. There have been plenty of other games that I have picked up and decided were not for me. It’s the nature of game playing.
Happiness Brings Good Things
I know players that really stress about their Pokémon collection. I am not that player but I get it. It’s a stress but many of them tell me it is happy stress. They know they don’t need any of this but it makes them happy to obsess and plan and generally stress about it.
I am happy just playing a few minutes every day. It makes me happy and governs how I play. When I get a shiny, I feel super lucky all day. When we get a lucky during a trade, I am ecstatic for my friend. My daily stress is just not that bad when I can catch fun little characters and carry them around in my pocket.