July 19, 2016

Pokemon Go: Why.

2 minute read, in Social Networking

New technologies, especially those without a conventionally obvious return, invariably draw the most vocal opinions from the people who haven’t tried them. If you can pause your eye-rolling exercises for a moment, here are a few thoughts worth considering from people who have allowed themselves to be infected with the latest craze.

Is collecting Pokemon useful? It depends on what you get out of the experience. My office went on a short jaunt to catch a few and:

  • Enjoyed the fresh air
  • Got a walk in
  • Solved a puzzle or two (where is that?)
  • Practiced navigating using a map (not being directed by a GPS)
  • Had a laugh

And that was on day one.

When I let myself get infected by Plants vs. Zombies a few years ago, signs that it was an addictive waste of time were glaringly obvious. I’d find myself sitting in my living room at 2pm wondering where the last four hours went. I got into that phase of addiction where you’re dreaming and day-dreaming about strategies and tactics.

Then something else happened. I realized I was mapping strategies and tactics for using a creative array of weaponized plants to stem a tide of zombies. As I started to examine my thoughts, I realized I was learning a degree of patience, planning, how to save, how to resist retaliation, and the list went on.

Sometimes, letting yourself get carried away creates new opportunities.

My wife works at Park People, a National non-profit that surfaces, supports, and promotes opportunities for parks (and the people who animate them) to solve city problems. She was shooting a video about an art installation at Guild Park in Scarborough for work the other day when her host pointed out that the 50+ people there were a recent phenomenon at that time of day.

Collecting monsters takes people to new places.

Next time your kid says they’re bored and tries to stay in on a sunny day, tell them to go find a monster.

Next time it’s date night, go hunt for monsters in a new part of town.

And maybe, next time a revolutionary new experience hits the scene, go with it for a bit and see where it takes you.

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