Pokemon Go has exploded and now everyone is playing it or writing hot takes about how it's the end of civilisation as we know it. Comedain Ben McLeay belongs to the latter party.
Ben McLeay

14 Jul 2016 - 1:17 PM  UPDATED 14 Jul 2016 - 1:17 PM

It seems like everyone on Facebook is only talking about Pokémon - what they’ve caught, how they saw other people out and about catching Pokémon, sharing articles about the police warning people to be careful while playing the games - and I think it’s about time everyone actually realised it’s bad and they should pay attention to me instead.


Selling this game to millenials was like taking candy from a baby; the addictive collection-based gameplay combined with a powerful nostalgia factor and a fun sense of collaboration (because everyone they know is playing it) made it the perfect thing for this point in time, and I think all of that is bad for some reason.


It’s not been uncommon to see people walking around the streets at night, alone or in groups, looking for Pokémon and congregating at lures. Complete strangers will stop and speak to each other just because, for once, people in public feel a thread of commonality between them, and for one shining second will push past the entrenched solipsism we feel to embrace a sense of community - and frankly I’m sick to death of it.


I have just one question for all these people who have taken to the streets with their friends to have a great time catching cartoon animals: how come nobody came to my birthday party? It seems like you’ve all got enough time to fight Pikachus or whatever, but not a single one of you had time to come to my house, eat borscht and watch Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker and Solaris back-to-back.


In fact I find it kind of funny that these “normies” are willing to spend their precious time on a frivolous mobile phone game when they could, like me, invest their time in more intellectual pursuits - for instance, I just finished reading every single Dragonlance book and it only took me 18 months.


If the game itself isn’t bad enough, people are posting the most inane things about it on social media. A screenshot of a Pokémon in an unusual place? How original. How about you look at my last Facebook post as an example of what is worthy content: a 1200 word article about how the Warcraft movie is actually more important than Casablanca in terms of cinema.


Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad about people having fun, I personally love having fun (just yesterday I completely rearranged my Gundam collection just for the thrill of it), but I do take issue with everyone I know having fun in the same way when I’m not a part of it.


Sure, I could start playing it myself, but I couldn’t compromise my dignity by doing something that everyone in the world seems to be taking genuine pleasure in. I have a reputation as a grumpy piece of shit who hates everything that everyone loves and I can’t betray that just for the sake of having “fun”.


I know for a fact that I’d be completely onboard with the hype if I was playing it myself, but the truth of the matter is I never got into Pokémon as a child and having to admit that I don’t know anything about it would run contrary to the fact that I think of myself as an incredibly discerning genius.


Some might say it’s ironic that I dismiss GO as a childish game designed for children, while at the same time giving constant praise to comic books and superhero movies, but Pokémon is different, because I’m the only person not doing it.

I’m not saying people should stop playing it or stop posting about it, that would be ridiculous, all I ask is that everyone stops having fun without me or, if they decide to have fun, make sure it’s doing something that I have pre-approved as OK to like.




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