Why people crapping on Pokemon Go drives me nuts

by Dave Proctor

To my friends and readers,

If you haven’t tried Pokemon Go yet, you should. This isn’t a PSA about how much fun I had with the game. Frankly, I don’t care if you have fun with it. There’s a bigger thing at risk if you don’t try it.

Chances are pretty good that you’re one of the 76 billion people already playing Pokemon Go. I’m not here to sway you, or congratulate you. Go count your pigeons and rats and do your thang. You do you. The people I’m more interested in are the large portion of my News Feed who get excited about blocking content and comments about the growing phenomenon.

Apart from the occasionally funny AR picture of a Rattata in a bowl of soup or a 300 foot Jynx at a baseball game, the most common thing I see relating to Pokemon Go is “I don’t care about Pokemon Go,” or “I’m a man, so I sleep with women instead of catching Pokemon,” or “God it’s so stupid. Get a life.” To those people I just have one major question.

Who are you to question the leisure activities of other people?

I want to take this a step further than the insightful Facebook status above. I don’t want you to just silently admit “Yeah, you’re right, it’s okay.” I want you to question when we became a society of people that freely crap on what someone else does that brings them joy. I want you to ask yourself this question and then see it in other parts of our life. Like Ghostbusters, or Sports.

I don’t think it’s okay when people on my side of the geek culture spectrum write off any major athletic event as “just sports,” or “sportsball,” as if they’re better than a section of the population for not liking it. I hated seeing people that hadn’t even picked up a Pokeball start shaking their head at PoGo when I brought it up because the massive swath of people in their news feeds made them form an opinion before they even tried it. I called him on it and he admitted ignorance.

But try it! Why are we so afraid to try things that we may not like? Or may love? I am on a mission to play as many games as possible, watch as many movies as I have time for, and listen to as much music as I can handle in the spaces in between. Who are any of us to give someone a hard time for something they enjoy? Something that brings them peace, or happiness? Why do we need to then say “Well I don’t need that to make me happy, so I’ve got to be a better person. I’m stronger. I don’t need things.”

If you don’t try Pokemon Go, or ride the next incarnation of a Segway, or pass on the next teen fiction post apocalyptic melodrama, ask yourself why. Why are you doing it? Is it because you want to define yourself as someone different? Or is it because you don’t have time? If you don’t have time, that’s fine. But when someone comes to you and starts talking about how one of those things made their life better, are you going to listen? Or are you going to shut them down.

I say listen, and learn. Find out what makes people happy and make an informed opinion. Try things. Let your opinions be shaped by your own experience, and if you don’t have time to experience everything, let them be based on other people’s direct accounts.

The same for sports. The same for bustin’ ghosts. Don’t be afraid of dying having tried things that make you uncomfortable. No one is living wrong.

Pigeons and rats,