Friday, July 8, 2016

Oldnerd Wondersadness

Today, I had an OLDNERD moment that can only be described as wondersad. It's wonderful how sad it is and it's sad how wonderful it is.

Like damn near everyone else on the planet, judging by the server load, I'm messing with Pokemon Go, the geographically-relevant, augmented-reality-augmented Pokemon mobile game.
I work Somewhere In Downtown Minneapolis, and often have meetings Somewhere Else, about six blocks away, straight shot down the street. Halfway between those two locations is a big office building that, in Pokemon Go, also happens to be a gym. I'm just playing casually, so I can't do gym shit yet, but as I walked past, it alerted me that there was a Zubat nearby. I'm making good time to my meeting, so I try to catch the Zubat.

Zubat flies around and I'm new to the game, so it's taking me a while to catch him. All of a sudden I see a nerd, professional, probably in his 30's, walking over to me. "Are you trying for the Pidgey or the Zubat?" I admit it's the Zubat.

So we chat for a bit about the game's Pokeball-flinging mechanics, he gives me some tips, and then a THIRD professional nerd, also probably 30's, walks over, phone in hand, wondering how many times he has to beat a gym leader. Wondersad.

I mean, this is what the game is supposed to do. That real world aspect will bring like-minded players to the same places, ideally, especially if the player base stays large and you happen to be in a densely populated area. But we were also three grown men outside an office building trying to catch fake bats with our phones and bonding over it. 

As for the game, I'm still undecided. The hooks are undeniable and effective. I was able to collect items from eight "Pokestops" (areas of local interest) just on my regular walk to the bus stop, which was nice for my item stash. But the battling and leveling mechanics are still a bit lost to me, since I can't do any of it yet. And I'm not sure how the free-to-play aspects will play out. Who knows if I'll be playing a couple weeks from now. But hey, a weird new thing happened as a result, and I can't argue with that.

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