Pokémon still appeals to the kid in me. I still have all my old Pokémon Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS games from when I was a preteen. And yes, I still play them from time to time whenever I am incredibly bored.
But one year ago today, a new game, a revolutionary game, Pokémon GO, made its official debut in the US.
I hopped on the bandwagon of people who became addicted to this awesome, great, fun, incredible, stop-me-whenever-you-like game. And while it took me almost ten months of playing it, one sunny afternoon in late April (while riding in a Toyota van in Mérida, Mexico of all places), I decided that I had had enough, and I deleted the app from my smartphone.
That's not to say the game is perfect, however. The technical glitches (particularly this time last year when virtually every single millennial in the United States with an iOS or Android device was playing it, causing the servers to crash) were quite frustrating. And unlike the traditional Pokémon video games, there was no goal. No end game. No player vs. player battle. Just walk around and catch as many virtual critters as possible. Maybe stop at a "gym" every once in a while. Spin the blue "Pokéstop" discs to earn free items. Or pay actual US currency for said items if there aren't enough Pokéstops in your area. (Trust me. There are far too many where I live.)
Does this not seem repetitive? Boring? Pointless?
Well, I guess all video games are to a certain extent, so considering I have over two hundred different games in my collection for nearly a dozen different consoles, who am I to make that argument...
|(Photo: The News Journal)|
Particularly, the people who play it in historic Old New Castle.
It was specifically this article from The News Journal that disillusioned me beyond repair. (Click on the link if you want the full story. I'm not interested in repeating too many of the details on this blog.) I live in historic Old New Castle, which used to be a quiet little town but has now turned into the best place in the entire tri-state area to play the game, causing incredible trouble-making and disruption.
One resident even went so far as to say, "It is actually why I put my house on the market."
I'll give you credit, Niantic. When you instigate something that causes people to relocate, you've done something quite impressive, for better or worse...
|Sandy and Binney Beale, personal friends and neighbors, and|
perhaps the most outspoken critics of the game...and the city's
lack of control over it. (Photo: The News Journal)
Nope. Not at all.
So what do they do instead? In the words of New Castle resident Sandy Beale, "They defecate, urinate, and procreate. You don't feel as though you want to go down and enjoy the park because it is not your park anymore."
Now, don't get me wrong. I personally was always on my best behavior. I never went into the gardens to take care of business at 2:30 in the morning. But others were. And they were doing several other unflattering things too.
You know how inserting just a few tone-deaf "singers" screaming at the top of their lungs into a choir can make the whole group sound awful?
Well, more than a few mischievous players were doing the same thing to folks like me when it comes to this game.
So there you have it: short, sweet, simple, and to the point. I could go on about how the lack of in-game updates and repetitive features made the game boring, or how it used up too much of my data, or took up too much storage, but this is the main reason.
I no longer wanted to be one of "them."