Hello stranger, friend or lover,
Not all my blogposts need to be about my own thoughtproces or about my suicide attempt. So here it goes ...
As some of you know I'm kind of addicted to Pokémon GO. Wich is kind of strange because as a kid, I never watched the anime or played the games. But I'm a very active person and when, due to an injury, you aren't able to do sports, it is nice alternative.
So it began with the hype of last summer and ended arround october. But then Niantic wisely, decided to up the game with certain events. We've had the christmas event with the Gen 1 starters, the valentines event, easter event, grass rock-type event and finaly the fire-event. And of course the release of Gen 2. All nice events to keep people playing, and by then I was turning from a casual player into a daily player.
But towards summer '17 I noticed I was becomming quite obsessed with the game, checking IV's of my pokemon, trying to really catch them all. Playing the game more then once a day , and sometimes walking around for hours playing this,quite repetitive, game. I was trying to escape, still am. Everytime I accomplished something like catching a rare pokemon, it felt like a accomplished something in real life, I took pride in it. And this is when (video) games (wich I play quit often) become dangerous. When you are walking around, or now with my bike riding around, but only staring at the screen, you are not paying attention to your surroundings, and locking yourself out of the real world.
You miss out on so much that's happening around you.
Because this game makes you go outside, so you're activly busy, which is good for your physic, but not so good for your mind. My mind was focusing so much on this game that I didn't noticed my partners tiredness when he walked beside me. I didn't notice how much time it took of my hands, or simply didn't care. Because it was fun and it was healthy... But before the summer it was also a very lonely game. The hype long gone. Not much social interaction was needed.
Fortunally for me Niantic itself put an end to this. Not by changing the game but by adding something to it. It's called raid's. A certain, strong pokemon appears on a gym (a fixed historical landmark) and you have to battle it to be able to catch this pokémon. But due to the difficulty it is nearly imposibble to this alone (except for the magikarp raids xD). So I went out and tried a few raids. Failed miserably with the first Snorlax raid I tried. But a few guys from the neighborhood had made a Whatsapp group, then 14 participants, now over 240 and asked if they could add me.
Wow, suddenly Pokémon Go wasn't a solo game anymore, but really a social game through which you could meet people and talk with them, about Pokémon but also about life! I was by then allready pretty isolated due to my mental state and physical illness, but this opened my world again.
Without anybody knowing this really helped me. I've met so many new people and made a few good friends, all because of this game. Because this people saw me as a Pokémon trainer first, and didn't know about my mental issues. So they didn't judge. And I could pretend I was back to normal. Which helped me so much.
Yes the game is repetitive, it's addictive, it's an escape and yes gen3 should be realeasing soon. But my love for this game comes from it's social interaction. So next time if you see mee riding on my bike, busy catching Pokémon. Please don't hesitate and come say hello! Maybe I gain another friend.
I'll keep on playing,
I'll keep on talking to people about the game,
And I'll try to support my team Mystic the best way I can!