Pokemon Go is out to get me

Published 9:56 pm Wednesday, July 13, 2016

By Henry Luzzatto


The fad swept across the nation almost overnight. Thousands of fully-grown adults were transformed into 8-year-olds again. Sarcastic teenagers turned enthusiastic. The streets of major cities became one long game of “dodge the pedestrian.”

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In case you have avoided the internet for the past week, here’s a breakdown of the game. Pokemon Go is a cellphone version of the popular Pokemon video games from the 1990s. It allows players to search for the cartoon creatures in the real world, as they walk through their towns to find the rare imaginary monsters.

And it’s ubiquitous.

Every single time I do anything online, I’m bombarded with pictures and comments about the game. Twitter and Facebook are overloaded with photos of people posing alongside their new Pikachus and Pidgeys. Every conversation I have with people under the age of 40 seems to end with us talking about the game.

Unfortunately, I have no interest in it.

I don’t mean this as some weird statement of superiority over the rest of my generation. It’s just that Pokemon was never my thing. But after isolating myself from the game for nearly a week, I figured that a reporter must not be afraid of new experiences.

So, in the name of investigative journalism, I downloaded the game and began to play. This is a short description of my time with the game.

Hour 1: This game is dumb. And it takes forever to download. The emblem of the game, the series’ iconic red and white “Pokeball” seems to be staring up at me from my phone like an unblinking eye.

Hour 2: I should probably try to catch something. That’s how you do this, right? There’s one called a “zubat” in my kitchen. Why is it called a “zubat?” It just looks like a regular bat. Except blue. Why is it blue? Why is it in my kitchen? I have so many questions for this thing.

Hour 3: I have exhausted an unsustainable amount of pokeballs attempting to capture this zubat. I’m moving on.

Hour 4: Apparently you have to go outside to search for more pokemon. That’s so unfair. I didn’t sign up for an exercise class.

Hour 5: I have captured a pidgey. It didn’t fly away from me, because it’s dumber than a real bird. I’ve named it “Res,” after my boss.

Hour 6: Who decided to launch this game during the hottest time of the year? It’s very arrogant of you to ask me to exercise in 90-degree heat in order to play your game. Also, I found another zubat. I let this one be.

Hour 7: I’m pretty sure I’ve accidentally walked all the way to Chesapeake. On the plus side, I have a caterpie and a psyduck. So things are looking up.

Hour 8: Just realized I haven’t had anything to eat or drink since I downloaded this game. If I die of dehydration, can I sue?

I’m pretty sure I passed out sometime during the ninth hour of play.

So when you’re out there searching for your animated monsters, please remember my example. Drink water. Pay attention to the traffic. Don’t chase zubats.

After my Pokemon Go bender, I think the game may need a new disclaimer.

Pokemon Go: please play responsibly.

Editor’s note: It has been nice having Henry around this summer. He should have plenty of time for Pokemon now.