Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pokemon Go: Dream Come True or Virtual Nightmare?

I am a 90's child. I grew up collecting Pokemon cards, putting in countless hours of game time into my Gameboy's, and becoming an all out addict to the creatures of Pokemon world. So when this game came out, I was determined to figure out if this was my wish upon a star. A little late, but better late than never right?

The first day that the game "Pokemon Go" released, I refrained from taking the plunge. I figured that due to this being a huge craze around the world, I was most likely going to be ridden with frustration from an overwhelmed server. I decided to wait until 2 days ago. The first attempt to download the game wasn't quite pleasurable. In fact, it didn't load at all. I got to the point of "sign in with Google" and then it crashed...and crashed and crashed and crashed. I was overwhelmingly upset that I just gave up. I tried to compose myself, delete the app, and try again later. 

Fast forward to today. My son was asking if we could try adding "Pokemon Go" to our walks. I figured that if it wasn't a huge issue, as it was merely and add-on to what we already do. I knew what had happened on Sunday, but I wanted to give the app the benefit of the doubt. I loaded up the app store, downloaded the game, and tried to give this whole experience another shot. We got to create a character, catch our first 2 Pokemon, and go for a short walk while using the app. Then all hell broke loose. We found a "Ponyta" and caught it with one swift swipe of the Pokeball, then it crashed. I attempted to start it up again to absolutely no avail. It refused to work or load regardless of WiFi or cellular data. I deleted the app and thought maybe it was because my phone itself needed to be updated. I proceeded to backup my photos and contacts, empty our everything unnecessary on my phone, update to the newest version of iOS (I have an iPhone), and re-download the "Pokemon Go" app. Surely this would fix the issues right? Nope. We were able to get it to work for a few minutes and decided to head to the San Diego Zoo for "Nighttime Zoo" and try to see what Pokemon - if any - would be lurking around. We got to the Zoo, walked into the park, pulled out my phone, clicked on the app, and were left with disappointment. It wouldn't come up. It was perpetually "stuck" on the "loading" screen and we were never able to use it. 


Seeing as how we were there more for the experience of the "Nighttime Zoo", we didn't allow it to upset us too much. We were able to watch 2 shows, see some active Koala's, check out the gorgeous Giraffe's and gawk at a beautiful Tortoise. We didn't see all the animals - we are members so it wasn't a necessity for us - but we were happy nonetheless. 

Once we were home, I called it quits and deleted "Pokemon Go". I was a little saddened and even tried to research why I was struggling so much - I found out that supposedly you're supposed to have an iPhone 5 or newer to enjoy it and I have an iPhone 4s - but in the end I actually do think it's an app that deserves a download.

With the time we did have with the app, we actually found it to be fun. My son would be hunting for the Pokemon, which made him want to walk more than normal. I didn't want him to push himself too much, but we enjoyed searching together. We felt as if it was another genuine adventure we could bond over. I do think however, that it's something to be careful with. I've seen some people become quite careless over their movements and leave themselves rather exposed to some potential risks. A young boy wasn't even weary of cars, when he ran across the street iPhone up, to catch a Pokemon lurking across the street. I've also seen some people trespass into gated communities, to complete a catch. Yes it's addicting and can be quite exhilarating to live a fantasy many of us have only dreamed of, but I don't think the degree some take it too is safe. As the intro says, stay safe and be aware of your surroundings! 

I don't know if the whole "iPhone 5 or newer" thing holds true, but seeing as how I was having an absolutely impossible time with the app, it could very well be accurate. I do intend on asking some of my other friends who also have an iPhone 4s. I don't intend on getting a new phone anytime soon, which makes this wish a bit of a dud for me personally, but all in all it's an amazing opportunity for this generation to live in the world of us 90's kids. 

PS I tried downloading this app onto my iPad mini, but it still crashed. I did the update to the software as well to absolutely no avail. I wish this app would work, but for now I will simply look at my card collection and play my Gameboy. 

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