Two decades ago somewhere in Tokyo, a young Japanese boy spent his playtime catching all sorts of insects and tadpoles. Over time the young boy’s obsession of catching creatures evolved into a hobby that created a game of catching, training and trading creatures – all in an electronic world.
Through the years there were several spinoffs of the game that took the world – mainly the kids’ world – by storm, in the name of Pokemon. Like most parents we never paid any attention to this – it’s just a kid’s game anyways.
Not so long ago my wife and I were doing our leisurely walk around La Farge Lake by our home in Coquitlam when we were literally swarmed by a horde of zombie-like people of all ages, all armed with smart phones, quietly treading the path around the lake.
We soon learned from our kids that these people were playing Pokémon. How can they be playing, I said, when they were merely walking around death-like transfixed on their phones. I’m even surprised they are even walking. I thought these people were nuts.
But I spoke too soon. The other week our eight-year old granddaughter came bugging me, insisting that I should install Pokémon-Go (that’s the name of the apps) on my phone. To keep the little imp happy I obliged and through her guidance I managed to install the app.
Installing the game on my phone turned out to be the easiest step. As my granddaughter was explaining the rudiments of the game to me my head began spinning. I can only remember words like Avatar, trainer, buddy, poke balls, poke stops, gyms battles, raid battles, evolve, candies, so on and so on.
Over the week I decided to Google the thing and what I found out was so dumbfounding that I realize there is a another world – Pokémon’s world – out there that we don’t see. And what’s more astonishing is that our grandkids have everything about the game grasped into their heads – hundreds of Pokémon creatures, the names, characteristics, statistics, and every technique in the book. And yes- they do have a book.
I confided to my wife that I felt like a kindergarten idiot compared to our Pokémon university graduate grandkids. I felt it would take me another five years of college training just to master the game.
Anyways, I started learning the game and collected my first few Pokemons. After a couple of weeks since starting at zero level I was so proud that I attained a Level 13, but after learning that our grandkids were over level 40’s I suddenly felt like a nobody again.
I hate to admit it but the game is indeed enjoyable, if not, addictive. I just regret that before all this I enjoyed my daily morning walk along Waterfront on the way to the office, taking the nice sights and smell along the way, which now I don’t even notice anymore cause I have to watch for those poke stops to get new poke balls to catch new poke creatures – if you understand what I mean.
But worse, my wife noticed the change in me. You’re beginning to look like a zombie, dear…