Board Gaming and Pokemon Go!

If you’re alive you’ll know what “Pokemon Go” is, love it, hate it or somewhere in between, you can’t help but admit how well the masses have taken to it. Of my main tabletop game group – age ranges 25-66 – everyone is playing “Pokemon Go”, including myself.

Pokemon Go board gamersWe might love board games, but at the moment we also enjoy Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go is for Losers!
For those who fall into the camp of hating it, yet never trying it (you know who you are), feeling somewhat above it all (or the Pokesnob) or you just don’t get it, let me share the experience of a hardcore board gamer and her “Pokemon Go” experience in this weeks Story Board.

I play “Pokemon Go” every night after work and I walk, I walk a LOT. It has definitely bitten into my tabletop gaming meetups, as I’ve missed two the past week (bad gamer!), but it’s also making me fitter because after work generally I’d be all about dinner and TV, or dinner and board gaming. Walking 7km a night when you’re an office jockey is pretty great and “Pokemon Go” is definitely getting people walking, but more than that, it’s bringing people together who wouldn’t normally speak and I love that about it and in a way, it’s kind of like what board gaming does too, but on a much grander / more accessible scale.

Sydney Pokemon Go Meet UpAn example of a Pokemon Go Meet Up in Sydney

Yesterday as I ate breakfast in a cafe in Brisbane city with my partner a wee boy approached because we had opened “Pokemon Go” to see what was around. “What level are you guys?”, from there it was a nice conversation, giving him tips, chatting about the game and off he went happy. The same thing happens at the park with people of all ages, races and creeds, “Pokemon Go” is giving people a common thread, regardless of those things and they’re talking to one another.

It reminded me of board game meet ups where I’ve arrived with a brand new game people hadn’t seen and you’d get that influx of conversation, usually from people who wouldn’t speak to you.

Pokémon Go Pokemon Go zombies memePokemon Go zombies? Stay up there on your high horse buddy.

Pokemon Go Zombies
I’ve seen a few comments on my Facebook feed and the common misconception is “people have their heads in their phones and aren’t speaking”, well it may look like that to anyone not playing “Pokemon Go”, but that’s actually not the case in my experience. The other complaint seems to be that people are missing what’s around them “oh they’re out in the park and don’t see anything but their phone”. I have seen and learned more of my surrounding area because of the game and its many Pokestops. Things I would usually walk by are now highlighted to me, sculptures, memorial plaques, special trees, public artworks, buildings of significance and the list goes on.

To assume “Pokemon Go” players are zombies is a disservice, not only to those playing, but also to the person thinking that’s the case. It’s like saying “all people who play board games are socially inept nerds”, a misnomer assumed by those with no personal experience of the thing they’re pass remarkable about. So if you’re one of those people, hold back, why bring others down that are enjoying something that is harmless to you.

Be nice folks and if you haven’t tried “Pokemon Go” and you love board gaming, why not give it a try. It can be played co-op or competitive, there’s chance, luck and skill involved. There’s strategy and you can play solo or in a massive group. Sound like something else you love doing in your spare time?