“You look a bit old to be playing children’s games.”
I glanced up from my fervorous attempt at capturing a CP356 Eevee to see the face of a scowling, middle-aged woman as she huffed past me on the stroll into the city.
Now, usually, I would ask who lit the fuse on her tampon (I have a habit of responding to these sorts of assholes) before continuing on, but I held my tongue. The truth is, it led me to start thinking about why it is that so many people react so negatively to this game.
Now, I’m not sure how well-received the game has been in other countries, but certainly in New Zealand, it is about 50/50 of people who either play the game, and those who actively despise it, excluding those who don’t care. In my city, people who play this game are heckled by random morons. If you don’t believe me, go to any NZ news-gossip website and read the user comments on one of the many Pokemon Go stories.
Just think about that. A game that you don’t like, and no one is forcing you to play, and doesn’t impact on your life in any way, shape or form, is causing you to react with hostility and ridicule to those who enjoy playing it.
Now THAT is a childish mentality!
I have literally had my phone in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other, and had FAR more sideways remarks made to me about playing Pokemon Go than smoking. That suggests that these Poke-haters have even more self-righteousness than the tobacco police. That’s a very low bar of busybodying to stoop under.
So in the immortal words of Osho, one of the most enlightened individuals in history: What the fuck is going on here?
Rather than focusing too much on the game itself and people’s reaction to it, I want to talk about the psychology behind it. The game really isn’t that important (unless you are in Team Mystic, in which case I will never speak to you again) – it is the reasoning behind the reaction. As my indirect YouTube mentor Elliott Hulse would say, the game is just the content, and it is not nearly as important as the context – the underlying principle.
Here are some of the ideas that I have come up with as to why people detest this game so much.
Hipsters / Anchors
These are the people who just hate it because the game represents a “fad”. In other words, it is popular, and they don’t want to look like they cared about the game in case it doesn’t stand the test of time.
While so many people played the game, they refused, and mocked it, and eventually in a few years (most likely) it won’t be played anymore. Then, they can finally bask in the glorious light of feeling intelligent and right. All the while missing out on the simple joy of Pokemon hunting on a Sunday afternoon. Or not participating at all.
But it just isn’t resourceful to be opposed to all fads, since they are a key mechanism in human society’s evolution. As with biological evolution, mutations do occur, and the ones that are beneficial to the organism are generally passed on. If they are so beneficial they become a necessity for survival in an ever-changing environment, they become a dominant feature that all individual organisms of that species eventually possess that trait, often after several generations.
New ideas are thrown into the ring and burn hot. Most burn out, but some stand the test of time. Electrical systems, cars, houses, and literally every man-made technology that you enjoy today was a “fad” at some point, but it caught on. It became a feature that everyone (or nearly everyone) in your society has. Not because of hipsters, but because of those who were bold and adventurous enough to try new things.
Imagine if no one had taken the risk, as it was at the time, and bought the Model-T Ford. Would we have cars today? If we did, would they be as advanced as they are, due to the century of refinement that has taken place? It’s unlikely, but we will never know for sure, because people DID take the risk. Probably while some pretentious twat on a horse-drawn carriage made snide remarks about how these new-fangled, metal horses with wheels would never catch on. But I digress.
Fads are the mutations of the collective human organism. By refusing to participate in new ideas and technologies, and by rejecting all fads and being stuck in the idea that things cannot change (or that we should go back to vinyl records), you are being an anchor to human progression.
That’s not to say that you need to hop on the bandwagon with everything, but if it isn’t something that you want to participate in, don’t participate at all. That includes not being a dick to those who are participating.
Or maybe I’m over-thinking it and they just cant see the screen through their Ray-bans.
I totally Moses’d a whole group of people at a pedestrian crossing last week.
I was at a busy intersection with traffic lights on my walk to work, and knowing the light sequence, I saw a gap where I could go if I went quickly, so I legged it.
What happened next was amazing. Another young guy, I assume seeing the same gap, started walking just behind me. Seeing that both of us had started crossing, the WHOLE HERD (maybe 15-20 people) who were waiting started crossing!
Like I said, there wasn’t a huge gap, so I got to the traffic island in the middle, and so did the guy behind me. But the slow-moving, cud-chewing multitude didn’t. And there wasn’t enough room for them all, even if they had.
So the car and truck that were on green had to stand on their brakes, there was honking, shouting, all sorts of mayhem. All because this group of grown-ups didn’t have the capacity to look around them and discern a gap for themselves. When they decided to move, they didn’t even check that the way was clear – they just followed the one in front like sheep.
Maybe they were immersed in catching Pokemon. But not necessarily, as I have parted the seas and led my people into the wilderness (rather than the promised land) several times before the release of PoGo.
Many people are the same with their opinions. They just heard from somewhere that we are supposed to hate something, so they do. In the same way as some adults will wander in front of a 10-tonne truck if the person in front of them does.
Stop, look and listen for yourself before you just follow the person in front and begin flinging poop at people.
For those who do participate, ignore the hecklers. To hell with everyone who says you shouldn’t play a game because they are too neurotic to express themselves fully.
Because although I didn’t say anything in retort to the grumpy woman, I still won. Her limited perception didn’t permeate my own ideas or actions.
But more importantly, I caught the Eevee.