What the world needs now is Pokemon Go


It seems everybody is pissed off these days.

Trump’s a racist. Clinton’s crooked. Stein’s causing too much trouble. Portland’s too full of tourists.  Horns are honking.  Kids are screaming.  And, above all, it’s just too damn hot.

But, you know who is happy?

The people playing Pokemon Go.

To be clear, I’m not one of them.

I logged hundreds of hours playing PlayStation as a kid, but these days, I’m not good for much more than the occasional game of Words with Friends.

That’s why I listened with equal parts amusement and puzzlement when I started hearing about folks wandering around town playing Pokemon Go.

The novelty of it seemed cool – a classic Game Boy title juxtaposed onto the physical world around us by way of the smart phone.

But, the real value of it didn’t really hit me until I was out for a bike ride a few days ago, and I ran into a loose gaggle of teenagers and twenty-somethings grazing around the parking strip across from Hannaford.

The gamers were “catching Pokemon,” aiming their phones at animated creatures that appeared on their screens as if the creatures were standing in front of the real life Back Cove.

People were relaxed, enjoying a few quiet moments after class at USM or pausing for a second before going into the Old Port for a dish washing shift.

They were self-sufficient, but friendly.  Joking around with one other, connecting their phones together for lighthearted competitive matches.

The sun was going down, and the light was warm and golden.  The air was cool and breezy.  It was nice.

It’s easy to be inside these days, yelling at a TV screen or unloading a vitriolic rant into a Facebook status.

We need to get outside and meet each other.

Whether it’s a digitally rendered Charmander or a vision for a new project in our community, we all need the ability to envision things that don’t exist in the material world around us.

Ultimately, Pokemon Go is probably just a fad.  I doubt people will be playing it with this kind of fervor for very long.

But, personally, I’m hoping it lasts a while.

It’s a good thing.

Rob Korobkin

About Rob Korobkin

Rob is a software engineer, community organizer, teacher and musician. He can often be found at Peloton Labs, staring at his laptop, drafting diatribes and programming software late into the night.