It seems that lately I’ve been either reading about, hearing about on the radio, or seeing on the TV about a game called Pokémon GO, and I must say that most of what I have read has been negative. What I mean is that I’m not hearing very much negative about the game, but about the adults that are playing the game. I have heard about those people who are trespassing on other people’s property, catching them in graveyards, Arlington to be exact, and even one instance where someone’s child had knocked on a stranger’s door to come in and catch a Pokémon that was living in their house. I’ve even heard of people playing while they drive and even read unverified reports of accidents caused by this game. For all of that I say the grownups should know better than to do something like that, and the kids need to be taught better, but that is not what this post is about.
This post is about the negative posts that I see online or hear on the radio about adults (grownups) playing this game. About how someone can’t figure out how a grownup can play a pretend game or that how can you pretend and still be a grownup. This concept just boggles my mind, when does being a grownup stop you from pretending, or even playing a game? Hell if you play a game with your child or grandchild, don’t you pretend then? Does that now make you no longer a grownup? The sports radio station that I listen to was really giving it to the adult Pokémon players, calling them losers and the like. My question to them is what is the difference between someone playing Go and someone “managing” a fantasy football team. Both are pretend, you don’t really own the team or the players, you are just pretending to be the owner. The only difference I really see is that the GO player is actually getting up and getting outside, while the fantasy player is still sitting behind their computer, and on Sundays watching players on their team.
Being a “grownup” doesn’t mean you stop pretending. Hell I bet some of you pretend every day. Some people pretend to be something they’re not at work or at church. Some people pretend to be somebody else in the bedroom, or pretend that their spouse is someone else. I even know of some of you who play a game called Farmville where you pretend to be a farmer, or some other Facebook game where you pretend to be a detective or super hero.
I am an avid table top gamer. Now when I say table top gamer, I am not talking about Monopoly, Life, Chutes and Ladders, or Clue (all of which are great games). I’m talking about role playing games. Games like Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, Star Frontiers, and many more. Once every two or three weeks I get to gather with a group of adults and pretend to be a Halfling thief. We get together and go on grand adventures of the mind. The group of people I game with incudes a City Council Member, two engineers, a warehouse worker, a HR supervisor, a DCS case worker, a psychiatrist, a student, and a business owner. Each of us an adult, several with children, all with bills, and real grownup issues. Our pretend time is our break from the real world. Some people read, other play video games, and still others watch TV to escape from reality. Heck, I’m even a member of a Podcast that covers gaming and the games we play. I guess what I’m trying to say here is don’t judge. Just because you don’t like it, or understand it, don’t belittle it. These GO players, as long as they are fallowing the law, are not hurting anything, in fact if this gets them out of the house and exercising, I don’t really see a problem with it.
Now for the GO players. Be respectful, thoughtful, and be smart about this game. Don’t try to play this game and drive, don’t park where you’re not allowed, don’t trespass, and stay the hell out of the graveyards. Now let’s roll some dice.