Pokemon Go - A Step in the Right Direction

Posted by martin.parnell |
Pokemon Go - A Step in the Right Direction

Recently, Sue and I headed over to Sudbury, Ontario, to spend some time with our grandchildren, Autumn aged 12, Nathan aged 7 and Matthew Connor aged 2. They are full of energy and had us on the go for most of the time. I was also pleasantly surprised to see daughter Kristina out and about so much. Now, don’t get me wrong Kris is a busy young women with the kids, a full time job and participates in “Amtgard”, a live-action, fantasy, roleplaying activity. However, she seemed to be taking more walks than usual. Then I realised what was going on. She had signed up for Pokémon Go.

Now, I have a somewhat love – hate relationship with video games. Back in the dark ages the first game I played was “Pong”. Two paddles and a puck and away we went. Next up was Space Invaders, Centipede and Pac-Man. Then I got a job. Years went by and games came and went. I would go to a party and everyone wanted to play “Guitar Hero”, why not? I even outscored Kristina on “Dance Dance Revolution”. She’s never forgiven me. Most recently it was Wii golf. I was just as bad at that as I was at real golf.

With regards to Pokémon Go, I didn’t want to judge too quickly, so I asked Kristina how it worked. She explained that an app had been created based on the classic Pokémon game, whereby you can walk, run or bike and, using GPS, find little Pokémon creatures and catch them. The cool thing is that they will appear on the screen of your cell phone and it seems as if they are really there. Apparently, this is called “augmented reality”.

Also, during our stay, Kristina really surprised me. She said she wanted to join me in a 5 km race. On the Sunday before I left, we got up bright and early and headed off to Massey, a small town 120 kms south west of Sudbury. Every year, this town of 3,000 people, puts on a marathon, half marathon and 10 km race. This year they had added a 5 km event. We waited at the race start line for five minutes and at exactly 5.45am the gun went off. This was Kristina’s first 5 km and she set off like a bullet. Over the next few kilometers she slowed down, but as we approached the end, she got very excited. There was a ”weedle”, one of the smaller Pokémon characters, sitting on the finish line. We both started to sprint and Kris pipped me by 0.1 of a second.

On the way back, Kris snoozed in the passenger seat and I reflected on the fact that, finally, there was a video game that got people off the couch, enjoying the outdoors and interacting with each other. Go Pokémon Go!

comments powered by Disqus