Despite having launched in 2016 and slowly losing it’s global spotlight popularity, Pokemon Go hasn’t died off at all. In fact, I could argue that it’s probably here to stay, despite the various people in my life who are telling me that I should probably stop playing a kids game and stop investing my time in something that is virtual. One thing is for sure: I’m not deleting it any time soon!
After all, if there is anything that can make you do something, it’s the power of positive reinforcement. It doesn’t matter if it’s virtual, it’s still triggering the good chemicals in our heads and making us want to keep doing what the reward is programmed to respond to. It’s precisely what made people play Farmville for so long! The chemicals in our brain responded to the joy of having cultivated a virtual field of vegetables or rice or whatever, even though we hadn’t moved an inch from our desktop.
By that comparison, I think all the disapproving adults should be proud that Pokemon Go, at least, has a reward system based on
Or even going out with friends in the rain, just to catch Pokemon.
In case you don’t play Pokemon Go, January 12th was Community Day. I’m a pretty new player, so I’m not 100% sure if Community Day happens regularly or what, but it’s basically a day where the game boosts up certain spawns and enhances other game mechanics to make the precious few hours fun. For example, this Community Day was centered around Totodile, an adorable little alligator/crocodile-based water-type Pokemon. I personally love Totodile and there’s nothing I wanted more than to evolve it into a Feraligatr. Community Day came and solved my predicament.
Spawn rates? Up the roof! Lure modules? Lasting three hours. Evolving Totodile? An easily obtained objective.
It really helps to have friends who play Pokemon Go, whether they’re friends you see every day or friends from the other side of the world. I happen to have both and it just adds on to the cycle of positive reinforcement. My friends from med school, who are incidentally the ones who have dragged me into the Pokemon Go community, had been planning on going out together for Community Day. Unfortunately, it had started raining and the plan at the end of the day became a very spontaneous trip around the neighborhood sectors of Islamabad.
There aren’t that many Poke-Stops or Gyms in Islamabad. Despite being the capital of the city, there are a LOT of landmarks and areas that have been missed out completely. As a result, there’s really no way to hit up Gyms and Stops without having a car and completely detouring from your plans. Instead of being an addition to your travels in the city, you have to make plans for the game instead.
That’s pretty much we ended up doing: visiting the Gyms in F-11 which are miraculously not that far away from each other and the distance between the two can be easily covered in a five minute walk (but alas! the rest of Islamabad is as dry as a desert) so we parked the car and walked to and fro, beating Gyms, spinning Pokestops and putting up Lures. As soon the clocks struck three, the Totodile stampede began! Catch me overjoyed, my objective of getting a Feraligatr was within my reach! Not only did I manage to evolve and
Even though my mom thinks this game is stupid, I think it’s brilliant. Not only does it motivate me to go out and walk, but it has also made me more agreeable to spontaneous plans of going out. If I didn’t play Pokemon Go, I probably would never want to do small-time adventures and nature walks that I do end up taking now!
At the end of the day, it’s a harmless, cute and cheerful game and I would highly recommend it to everyone. Sure, it’s a little distracting (like keeping your hands glued to the phone while on these walks and stuff) but if you have the
If you play Pokemon Go, you can feel free to add me! Here’s my code (
8562 3136 9651) and comment your username below! Have a nice day!