Pokémon Go! Unites
This picture does not depict the reality of the Pokémon Go craze nor just how easy it is to see our community join together in even the smallest way. My 11-year-old son, Zane and I recently took a day trip to Erie, Pennsylvania to visit Presque Isle State Park. We had read reviews that the Perry Monument at Crystal Point was a great place to find rare Pokémon. When we arrived mid-afternoon, at least 100 people were gathered in the park, walking around searching for rare gems. Within a few minutes of our arrival we heard a young boy next to the scenic boat tours hut yell out, “Scyther!” The entire park filled with people shifted about 200 yards in an instant. A few tourists clearly looked shocked, as if the peninsula was being evacuated.
Yes, I did make my way over to catch the swarming green mantis for a prize of 646 CP. I could hear the continuous chatter among strangers discussing what type of balls they were using to catch it, what level they were on and what other creatures they had captured so far that day, until everyone started wandering around again in search of that next great catch. It wasn’t long before an older gentleman, closer to the monument yelled “Magneton!” and the crowd proceeded to follow each other to the next big find, as one unit with a common goal.
It doesn’t take long to look beyond the game and see the unity among those who are enjoying the hunt. I stood behind a group of people chatting that clearly just met, but were brought together because of this virtual world. A Muslim family, an African American man, 5 preppy adolescent boys and a few older bearded men wearing NRA t-shirts stood in a circle, all working together to try to find and catch the next rare character. It was quite beautiful to see.
After taking over 27,000 steps, laughing, running and sometimes facing disappointment (over not catching the fully evolved Exegguter after wasting over 20 balls), we returned home to the reality that we must find more ways to come together, join forces and unify. Pokémon Go!