Joeri’s Corner – The Social Aspect of Gaming : Pokémon Go

Joeri's Corner - The Social Aspect of Gaming - Pokemon GO 1

When I started these articles about the social point of gaming I never thought I’d come to the part where I would have to write a third part, but here we are regardless. The main culprit was the release of Pokémon Go.  To say the release was popular would be a huge understatement as it swooped millions of people off their couches and out into the big brave world. The previous Pokémon games had been trying to get kids outside and interact with other people in the past, but the results were very disappointing as it was still very easy to do anything from the comfort of your couch close enough to your Wi-Fi. From the moment they announced they would be releasing a Pokémon game where you had to go out and catch Pokémon in the real world there was a huge following, at the moment of release that following seemed in fact just the tip of the iceberg  because the amount of downloads exploded and servers were so crowded people had plenty of trouble just getting logged on.

Joeri's Corner - The Social Aspect of Gaming - Pokemon GO 2

Soon enough  the world was overrun with players walking around with their phones out swiping like madmen trying to catch these imaginary creatures. Why were they doing this? What got all these people so hyped?  Niantec made it so that you really need step outside and walk around, the previous games implemented some features so that you could interact with each other yet it wasn’t fully necessary. In 1996 with Pokémon red and green you could link up your Gameboys to trade or battle, in 2009 they released an independent step counter device that levelled your Pokémon by walking around with it, in 2010 they released black & white where you could battle each other thanks to Wi-Fi and finally in 2013 there came x & y where it could find people nearby that play too and connect with them. All of this was greatly ignored by most players and when they released Pokémon Go they basically said “gtfo, go outside please!”

Joeri's Corner - The Social Aspect of Gaming - Pokemon GO 6

Pokémon games were always a good source of income for the Pokémon company and Nintendo, so it’s safe to say people have always been occupied with trying to catch and collect all of these little critters. Due to this new game setting all these people free on the streets in hoards, it’s just more in our faces than it was before and we finally get face to face with the fact that this franchise is immensely popular and very much still alive. Since this is so much more in our faces it even manages to attract even more people and they will join in on the experience. Of course there’s also the other side of the coin and you will also meet up with the people who think it’s a childish game and are very outspoken about it. Both sides are doing absolutely nothing wrong since everybody is entitled to their own opinion, it just becomes a fact of not pushing this opinion too far. You hear a lot of positive and negative stories related to the game, both sides always seem like they present the most extreme stories of these. You hear about irresponsible behaviour of people and the disrespect while playing, but in all honesty I don’t think that this is the fault of Pokémon Go or any game in fact.

Joeri's Corner - The Social Aspect of Gaming - Pokemon GO 7

Some people are just born stupid and will always do stupid things regardless of whatever type of hobby they do, for that matter of fact even knitting could be considered a dangerous hobby since it involves pointy objects that lead to eyes being poked out and yarn that could suddenly end up strangling people. You might think this is exaggeration, but no people are just this level of stupid when it comes down to it. The trick is, like it is with most things in life, to focus on the positive things. Some of these stories involve young people who are out and about that end up helping an older couple that unload groceries from their car, without Pokémon Go they might have been stuck behind some TV screen never encountering this struggling couple unable to help them. Even the stories about unhealthy lifestyle people who suddenly get off their asses and get some much needed walks in. There are plenty more stories around the web that you most definitely read both good and bad.

Let’s just see what this game does for you when you take out all these stories, you go out and enjoy the world and you get to see interesting places you maybe have never seen before even though you lived near them almost your entire life. You can meet new people in the process who have at least one interest in common with you. Me and Kelly went out for some of these trips and found some beautiful spots to picnic or just lay around, sometimes meeting up with our friends at random or agreeing on beforehand to meet up, even have a nice chat with a person around that wants to have a talk about the game or some advice about what model of phone would be better for them. This is the positive social interaction the world actually needs some more of. How long has it been since you have seen so many people outside banding together doing the same thing?

The game itself still has its fair share of problems, but what game these days doesn’t have bugs in it? Game coding got bigger and more complex and with that comes a greater risk of conflicting code parts or wrongly written parts. Sometimes things are tried out and they simply don’t work well in the whole of the game. These days you can’t expect  that when a game just releases that it will be perfect running from the get go. This game will still need some time to fully develop into what it can be at its full potential, so breaking it down at this point is pointless, the main thing to keep an eye on is if Niantic actually listens to its players. Loads of people were upset when they removed the three-step system from the game and couldn’t track locations ‘anymore’, but then I ask why be upset since this three step system was broken to begin with and you couldn’t track them to begin with? All they did was remove an empty system you couldn’t do anything with anyways, what was in fact useless coding that didn’t work for you. They might as well have said they removed some coding that was in there that they face-rolled over the keyboard to put it in and then you complain “but hey now I don’t have that thing anymore that made the game go ‘lpkjdfxdgtuygihulijuhguj’ and I am so mad about it”, yes that’s how much sense that complaining makes to me.

If( upset = true )

{

dipshits are present;

}

Else

{

Don’t really give a fuck;

}

Shall we just all enjoy the summer that’s still left and go out to catch some Pokémon instead, maybe do something positive and make someone’s day better?

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