You Can Have My Pokémon

The recent obsession with Pokémon Go has caught my attention. As a lover of anime and an avid gamer, you would think that I would be all over this. Yet, I am not.

I started hardcore gaming at the age of nine when my parents finally bought a console for the house – the NES. Before then I would have to get my gaming in at the arcade or the local pizza shop. The amount of time spent wiggling cartridges and blowing the dust from the connection points could probably add up to the time it takes me to complete Super Mario Bros. with the warp tunnels.

Theoretically, my love for anime started as a child, but it did not fully blossom until I was a teenager.

Yet, I cannot get into Pokémon Go. I was never a Pokémon fan. I like saying “Pikachu” – it sounds like a stuffed animal sneezing.

ingress

I was recently at a local brewery — shocking, I know — and the topic of Pokémon Go came up. Of course a few people around us were playing it, yet a woman slightly younger than me emphatically told me to not engage in such tomfoolery and to instead play a game called Ingress. Ingress is an augmented-reality massively multiplayer online (MMOG) location-based game that was developed by Niantic. Essentially, you join one of two teams and you interact and capture portals on behalf of your team. I joined the Enlightened team, which competes against the Resistance team. Ingress is similar to Pokémon Go in that you interact with your surroundings, but instead of capturing adorable creatures, you are capturing portals.

So what does this all mean? That yes, I am still a gamer, love anime and enjoy augmented-reality, but that I will not be chasing around Pokémon characters with the rest of the world.