You are probably reading the title of this post thinking… ‘PokemonGo? Do people still really play that?’, and the answer is absolutely yes. We really do! PokemonGo came out almost two years ago now, and when it first launched, it was massive. You couldn’t go outside without seeing someone playing, and to start with, all the community did was share a smiling nod when they realised they had spotted a fellow Pokemon trainer. Two years on, the community is stronger than ever thanks to the raid system, use of Discord and facebook groups, and the amazing monthly Community Days.
Every month, PokemonGo has a special community day event worldwide. For three hours on a set date, you can catch a particular Pokemon. Evolving it into it’s final form will give it a special limited edition move, but more importantly, a rare shiny variant of that Pokemon will be available! Every month, I head over to a local park and meet up with around 30 other trainers to hunt those shinies out. It has a fantastic community atmosphere, everyone is so excited for the rare catches and we always have a really good time. The park we use is accessible, so the players in our local community who use wheelchairs know they can also partake fully, so if you help plan these events locally for your community, please do keep that in mind!
The last six months has seen many major updates in the game. A weather system that affects spawns, the release of the Hoenn region Pokemon, and most importantly, the quest system. Even rural players who struggle to organise groups for raids, or who potentially don’t live near gyms, can now get the opportunity to catch legendary Pokemon on their own thanks to the field research tasks.
Thanks to PokemonGo, I’ve reconnected with an old friend I hadn’t seen in over ten years, who I would now consider to be one of my besties. I’ve made friends with acquaintances who I always thought were cool but was too nervous to chat to more. I’ve made totally new friends, and it has really encouraged me to keep working on my social anxiety! It’s given me a hobby I can do solo, but also as a group, that encourages me to get out the house and always has something new going on.
So next time you see a cluster of people stood together in a local park, or a large group laughing and cheering and shouting shiny, yes, we really are still playing PokemonGo!