Three Reasons You Should Embrace The Pokémon GO Phenomenon
By Ken McCoy / JumpStart Ministries / Charlotte, NC / email@example.com
Unless you don’t know any teenagers, you’re aware of the Pokémon GO craze that’s hit North America this past weekend. People everywhere are using their phones to play an augmented-reality game that turns their city into a Pokémon-infested world where art sculptures are Pokéstops, coffee shops are Pokémon Gyms, and town squares are ripe with virtual critters.
Without getting into the “how to play” info – full disclosure, I haven’t really played it much, there don’t seem to be any Pokémon creatures in my neighborhood yet – I’ve thought of at least three reasons I need to embrace this phenomenon.
The Game Is Fun!
A whole generation of kids grew up with “Nintendo Thumb” from playing Pokémon on a handheld gaming console, and imagining how cool their world would be if Pokémon characters inhabited it. Now, they’re even closer to experiencing that reality. Using the camera on their phones, those kids (who are now old enough to be youth leaders) can now be in that world. How cool is that?
You Can Play With Friends
While there is no multiplayer functionality in the game yet, you can still go hunting with friends. I saw a dozen people gathered at a Pokéstop in my little town over the weekend. They were laughing, looking at their phones, and generally seemed to be having a great time even in the summer heat and humidity of North Carolina.
Players Get Exercise
Finding the fantasy creatures requires you to get out and get walking – or running – at all times of day and night. The more ground you can cover, the more creatures you will find. After decades of watching kids veg for hours in front of a computer or television, I’m all for getting outside and exploring – especially if I’m doing it with some of my young friends from church!
I recognize that I’m a geek – not a nerd, a geek – and an early adopter. Still, I’m pretty sure that Pokémon GO will be one activity that works its way into my schedule this week. How about you?