The amount of people in my neighborhood playing Pokemon GO is staggering. Yesterday I went out in search of Pokemon towards a more populated area following lures and running into well over 50 people playing Pokemon of all ages, colors, genders, and walks of life, surely. I’m pretty happy with my progress so far; I’m level 11 and my best Pokemon is a 984 CP Vaporeon. My Pokedex has 42 captured so far, so I’m happy with what I’ve got, though I still don’t have my favorite, Ninetales. Soon enough, I suppose! Anyway, let me tell you about my interactions with other Pokemon Trainers yesterday.

  • At the Home Depot I ran into a kid and his mother catching Pokemon while the father and I waited to have spare keys made. We compared Pokemon briefly, then wished each other luck on their journey. After my key was made, a wild Pidgeotto popped up so I paused to catch it when another guy aged maybe 16-22 (I’m terrible with guessing ages) asked if I was playing Pokemon GO. I said yeah, and he said everyone was talking about it. I told him to check it out before continuing my journey.
  • After hitting level 8 yesterday, I got my first lure, which allows you to place one at any real-world Pokestop, where one can stop for items. For 30 minutes, the map shows a lure at that location, and Pokemon will repeatedly spawn at that location. I tested it out at my local park, and I had a group of 4 16-22 year olds who swung by to grab whatever pops up. Multiple cars pulled into the parking lot nearby as well. At one point a large black jeep moved slowly towards me, rolled down their window to see a burly tattooed guy and his wife/girlfriend. He asked if I was playing Pokemon and asked for tips on how to battle at gyms. I taught him and he thanked me and went on his way, saying they had been swinging by Pokestops all day. After my lure was nearly over, one of the white SUVs drove away, but not before he put his window down and yelled “Thanks for the Pokemon, man!” I gave him a thumbs up and a “Go Team Mystic!”
  • After a dinner interlude, I went back out to hunt some lures (and a wild Squirtle, score!) and ran into a girl I work with, her boyfriend, and their new born baby. He had dropped a lure down, so we hung out for a cool 20 minutes or so, and when their lure (and cellphone battery) was up, I went to the lure nearby and ran into a few Trainers with whom I shared little more than a “hey”.
  • While heading to another Pokestop to drop another lure, I ran into an older couple walking their dogs. “Are you catching Pokemon too?” they inquired as I walked by. “Yeah,” I said, “Catching them as we speak!” They chucked and told me there were a bunch of Pokemon at the school, from what they knew. I wished them well and headed in that direction.
  • When I arrived, I was walking behind another Trainer, so I let him know I was going to use a lure. We hung out for a bit as more people slowly started to swing by, as well as cars parking nearby. I ran into an old high school friend (and middle school sweetheart) catching Pokemon and we talked a bit about our lives since high school and about our Pokemon collection, sharing information, memes, and nearby areas to lookout for. More and more people joined to camp the lure (which someone else placed when mine expired) and before long we had nearly 20 people on this lure, everyone talking about how many people were playing Pokemon GO, and how both crazy and awesome it was. Phone batteries were dying, so we called it a night, and wished everyone well on their adventure.

Pokemon GO is starting a revolution of people helping each other and coming together and it’s amazing. I sincerely can’t wait to see what else this game can do for people and social communities. What are your Pokemon GO experiences? Share them in the comments!

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These “What’cha Doin’?” posts are designed to spark discussion, so feel free to post in the comments what you’ve been playin’, watchin’, or listenin’ to lately.

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