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Pokémon GO

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Pokémon GO is more than just a game, it’s a lifestyle. It’s an opportunity to meet new people and see new things. People all over the world are getting outside and moving around just to “catch ‘em all”… including myself! This is a wonderful way to get kids outside instead of sitting on the couch playing video games and not moving for the entire day.

As a kid, I never thought Pokémon was as good of a show as everyone else did. I never traded cards and only watched the episodes when there was nothing else to watch. Now that the original Pokémon cartoon is on Netflix, I’ve fallen in love with the show! If it wasn’t for the game, I would have never watched the episodes again and realized just how good the show actually is. After watching the entire first season, I started getting more and more excited about the Pokémon GO game. But, with every game come positives and negatives.

The negatives:

  • This game is not completely free. While it is free to download, once you run out of poké balls -which happened to me by level 5- it costs A LOT to get them back, especially as a broke college student. I burn through 20 poké balls within 3 pokémon! Maybe I just can’t figure out how to aim, but I still am not willing to spend $2 for just 20 poké balls if I burn through them so quickly. The up side to this is that you can get to poké stops and earn more poké balls at no cost! It’s just finding those poké stops that take time and effort.
  • This game drains your battery. I start my day with 100% battery life and before downloading this game my battery would last the entire day, up until about 7-8pm. Now that I have downloaded this game my battery dies completely by around 1-2pm! It’s very frustrating and since this game has come out we have seen a huge spike in portable charger sales. I’m planning on purchasing one once the prices go back down.
  • It’s very distracting. When playing this game, it is very easy to lose sight of what you had originally planned to do with your day. Not only that, but there have been some crazy stories out there about people getting hit by cars because they aren’t paying attention to their surroundings, and one person even hit a police car while playing Pokémon GO and driving! Many users have tried to sue, but when opening the app it clearly says “remember to be alert at all times. Stay aware of your surroundings.” They’ve even gone so far as to make you hit “ok” after reading a safety warning after opening the app. Recently, Pokémon GO updated their app so that if you are moving over a certain speed they make you confirm that you are not driving and you’re just a passenger.

The positives:

  • Many businesses are seeing an increase in sales. Thanks to the poké stops outside of their buildings, we have seen a lot of companies offering special discounts to those playing Pokémon GO in their area to get customers through their doors! Check out this story about a struggling ice cream shop in Anacortes.

This game almost forces you to make new friends. I go to WWU and have found a ton of poké stops all throughout campus. There is this one specific spot on campus where you can sit in one place and access three poké stops without moving. Every night I have noticed multiple students hanging around this area just to set lures and hangout and meet new people for hours on end. There is even a Facebook group that plans times and areas to meet and play Pokémon GO around Whatcom County.

  • You get to see new things. I’ve walked down many trails and never actually looked at the artwork around me. With this game, it exposes you to new sightings you may have never looked for previously. You also get to go to places you may have never gone before and maybe didn’t even know about. One day I went to this park and with the Pokémon GO game I noticed a trail that I never saw before, when walking I found the trail and it matched up perfectly with the Pokémon GO app! I have walked this area almost every day for the past year and NEVER noticed this trail until Pokémon GO came about.
  • It’s a free app to download! Nobody gets upset when they hear the word “free”
  • It improves your mental health. According to Science Alert, Pokémon GO is actually helping people with anxiety and depression. It is well-known that physical activity relieves people of their anxiety and depression, so with this app forcing people to walk around outside and get active it’s no surprise that people are starting to feel better! This game is a great way to get healthy, active, and improve our mental health.

While all games have positives and negatives to them, this game is very different. It forces you to get up and be active, which is something every human being needs to do in order to have a healthy life. This game is a new kind of augmented reality, and it sounds like it will stick around for a while! The team members here at Swinomish Casino & Lodge have definitely joined in on the fun. The marketing department is on team Valor (red) while team members working at the Lodge have taken on team Mystic (blue). Since there is a gym on our property, our departments have a fun little rivalry going on and we’re always trying to take over the gym. Unfortunately the gym is located right at the lodge, so it’s more of a challenge for the marketing department to keep ownership of the gym. It seems like every time I come into work the gym is taken over by team Mystic! I always make an attempt to win it back though. Stop by Swinomish Casino & Lodge to hit the poké stop and gym!