Pokemon Go

I grew up with Pokemon. I never had a GameBoy growing up, but fortunately my neighbor was kind enough to share his GameBoy. My brother and I would take turns playing game after game of Pokemon Red and Yellow for hours at a time, but since we had only one GameBoy between us, we couldn’t trade and truly catch ’em all.

Since then I’ve kept up with each new generation, albeit several years late. I spent high school playing Pokemon Crystal, while later playing Emerald and Fire Red and Platinum and Soul Silver and Black. (I still haven’t grabbed Black 2, nor acquired a 3DS yet for Generation 6.) Each generation grabbed a big part of my interest, my interest growing with each generation of new Pokemon.

So when Pokemon GO was announced, a mobile game where you can catch virtual Pokemon while out and about in the real world, I was pumped. Even though Ingress never appealed to me, I have occasionally played mobile location games like geocaching. A game where you could really catch Pokemon? Sign me up.

And sign up I did, as soon as the game was available in the United States. Unfortunately that was on Wednesday evening, and naturally the game was released after I had walked to and from my monthly book club meeting and run five miles. But that didn’t stop me from wandering outside around sunset in search of Pokemon and Pokestops (local landmarks to get free in-game supplies).

The Pokemon Go servers have experienced some ups and downs over the last few days; almost everyone I know who grew up with Pokemon has embraced Pokemon Go. We’ve been going out, stopping by Pokestops to get new supplies for free and wandering around in search of new Pokemon. While one of my friends is catching Eevees and Dratinis out the wazoo from her own living room, I seem to be stuck with Pidgey and Rattata and the occasional Zubat if I don’t want to leave the house.

Fortunately, Pokemon Go contains yet another perk to living in a large city. There are Pokestops almost everywhere here, including three that I can access from the parking area behind my house and three or four more just by walking around the block.

The only small problem with this is that, just like in the handheld games, there’s a limit to how many items you can carry in your bag. While the handheld games limit the number of distinct items (so if you have 100 Pokeballs, only one of them counts toward the limit), Pokemon Go counts each individual item as an item, so those 100 Pokeballs count as 100 items toward the 350 item limit. Since there are so many Pokestops within a short walk from my house and these Pokestops can be activated again for more items, I’ve reached that item limit several times in two days. Most of those items are Pokeballs, so my main current solution is to catch more Pokemon to get rid of Pokeballs while getting more items and experience.

This also means that at level 7, I’m building a small Rattata and Pidgey army. It really is like starting a regular Pokemon game. Time to take a break and transfer the weaklings for more candies. My Rattata will be in the top percentage of Rattata!

For any non-Pokemon Go players who want to go on a walk with me: I’m so sorry.

Who else is playing? Anyone managed to find any cool Pokemon yet?

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