Pokemon Go, won’t you be my neighbor?

A couple of days ago, the regulars at my Starbucks were talking Pokémon Go. Ever the impulsive rebel, I downloaded it right there and captured my first Pokémon.1If only it had been that easy. I kept tapping the monster thingie and nothing happened except a circle. I had to Google it to learn I had to flick the ball. I think I found the instructions on Forbes. :-D But I wasn’t really hooked.

I looked at it again this evening and learned that tapping on things results in helpful text. I couldn’t talk anyone into playing it with me, so I grabbed my longboard2And helmet — no helmet, no respect. and went in search of Pokéstops. On the way, I found a group of “Pokémon trainers” playing Pokémon, too.

Because I looked so clueless,3Not a big act, and what’s sadder than a 50+-year-old, pushing around the neighborhood on his longboard, all alone, trying to play Pokémon Go? they took pity on me and gave me some hints. Yeah, I wouldn’t have known to spin the picture at the Pokéstop…

I continued pushing around the neighborhood, collecting more stuff and ran into the same group again. Haha! There were a lot of people out walking with their phones. Everyone waving and smiling like we’re all in the “in-group,” being cool. It reminded me of the early days of FidoNet and Twitter, where we’d do meetups just to see in meatspace those we interacted with in cyberspace. Except with Pokémon Go, we’re already in meatspace.4Yeah, I know–nobody says meatspace anymore. Nobody writes or reads blogs anymore, either, but look at both of us.

After finding more balls and eggs and capturing some pidgies or something, I ran into them yet again. Even though I didn’t look quite as clueless,5Though probably still just as sad, riding around, alone, playing Pokémon, at my age, and now for so long? ;-) they had more hints for me. Turns out there are incubators and candy. Who knew?! Certainly not me.

At the next stop, I found a couple more guys, playing Pokémon. They’d just downloaded it a couple of minutes prior, but, again, with the smiles and the fun conversation. If I’d stuck around much longer, I might have got a bro-hug. I wasn’t going to find out.

Anyway, now at level 3, a little sweaty from pushing, and with an egg in the incubator, I headed home. My family gave me their encouraging smiles6Yup, there goes dad, again? and I headed upstairs to share with all of you…

…And invite you to play. The game, nah, it’s okay. But playing with all the other people, yeah, that’s fun. Like fishing, Pokémon Go is an excuse to get outside and meet some people in the neighborhood you probably wouldn’t meet any other way.

After the events of this week, I’ll take it! :-)

I originally posted this on Facebook.

By Brent Logan

Engineer. Lawyer. WordPress geek. Longboarder. Blood donor. Photographer. More about Brent.


  1. this is brilliant — thanks for the reportage. I have yet to get going.. servers got ddos’d today so might be a day or two until I get a chance.

  2. Shelby, the social aspect is the best part of the game. This was Friday evening, so there were a lot of people out. You might want to time your first try to when you see people in the neighborhood doing the Pokémon shuffle… ;-)

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting! And good luck with the DDOS.

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