The opportunities in our society seem to be deepening, the opposing point of view becomes a distant, theory that is unreachable and as the walls splitting us grow higher. Political chaos? Firearm violence? Capturing Pokemon in a sun-drenched park, that’s what.
With the release of the silly Pokemon GO, I see hope. I see as the tone of my Facebook feed eventually begins to lighten up, friends posting images of their recently captured Pokemon . I see entire strangers bonding over gymnasium strategies, exchanging tips on where to find the Jynx hiding in the grass or the Squirtle. My cellphone camera shows the Rattatas scurrying around my local supermarket, known only to me and my fellow players. The stereotype of the anti-social, idle gamer began investigating the world, making new friends along the way and has formally escaped the couch.
The game has led players to dead bodies that were festering, down railroad tracks and into the clutches of armed robbers. The Auschwitz Memorial and Washington’s Holocaust Museum have felt the need to issue statements requesting that people cease playing Pokemon Go while on their premises. The mature website Pornhub has reported a 136% surge in Pokemon-related hunts since the game’s release. Individuals are definitely having pleasure, although deride and blow off the phenomenon all you like.
The significance of play in our society is almost totally focused on children. We only suppress it. The Millennials may be the most playful generation that’s ever existed (so far), which can only be a good thing. Play feeds our creativity and relaxes our thoughts. It strengthens social bonds, forges new relationships and allows us to destress in a dream environment in which failure is irrelevant.
Yet playing is too frequently derided as a mark of immaturity, a failure, a weakness to grow up. The average age of a video game player is 31 years old, and 48% of players are girls. The image of the sullen teenager playing with game titles in his parents basement is a tired stereotype no longer pertinent to the modern world. Now that games are opening to the masses, the action of adult play must not be accepted, but embraced.
2016 is but one stressful year in a trying age, where the conventional markers of adulthood such as for instance owning a house, starting a family and a car, are becoming steadily harder to accomplish. The world is definitely a place of economic instability, clashing cultures and hateful rhetoric, but we’ve never been made aware of it. The neverending cycle of news is a bleak, cynical window of reality that is souring our understanding of the world. Massively multiplayer gaming and augmented reality may supply the panacea in which to flourish in the ultra-trying age of advice. It’s a bit like replacing pubs and coffee shops the only stimulant, with PokeStops being your mobile.
Much of Pokemon GO’s allure stems from nostalgia, not only of capturing those initial one hundred and fifty memories on your old Gameboy, but of leaving your house as a youngster to go investigate the world, not understanding what lies beyond. The creator of Pokemon was inspired by a youth spent collecting and getting bugs in the great outdoors. Our era of indoor living, spent binge-watching Netflix and wallowing in social media, may be on the cusp of change.