Why I Love Pokemon Go (& Playing in Los Angeles)

3rd and Fairfax was loaded with Pokemon to catch!
3rd and Fairfax was loaded with Pokemon to catch!

While Summer 2016 has already established itself as a year to put in the history books (The presidential candidates, finding out Bill Clinton’s love for balloons…) nothing can quite match the phenomenon that is Pokemon Go.

Since its launch on July 6th, millions of smart phone users have downloaded this free app that takes us back to our childhood.

Or, if you are like me, you never were into Pokemon at all but are hooked with the new wave of playing.

Much like all the political posts, and memes making the Facebook rounds, quite a few coming up on my news feed are jokes about those of us playing Pokemon Go. Many think we are morons, silly, should find better things to do. Yet, after downloading this game myself, and having Michael show me the ropes, I have realized the teasing and eye rolls are not very accurate.

Look at all those blue dots indicating "stop's" in Beverly Hills!
Look at all those blue marks indicating “stop’s” in Beverly Hills!

As a lot of you know, I have depression and anxiety. While it is not too easy to notice these traits if you have met me, I have moments, days, even weeks, that I am really plowing through my mental state, and trying to work up the strength to get out the door.

How does this tie into Pokemon Go? Pokemon Go has helped me, as well as many other social anxiety patients, get out and enjoy themselves. Unlike Candy Crush Saga or Solitaire, Pokemon Go thrives on the player being out in the world. I have caught a few Pokemon in my house, but, there are way more to find, Poke stops to head to and Poke Gyms to battle at once you are out and about.

And, despite that some feel it is a new excuse to stare at our phones, I have had just the opposite happening. A beautiful day in Long Beach found me for a bit at The Seal Beach Pier, and, not only did I have amazing luck at catching many ocean Pokemon, but, the whole pier was literally playing with me. There were young boys racing to get more poke balls at the town clock (Clocks are ideal Poke Stops, just sayin’!), young couples asking me what I just caught as they could see the grin on my face and a sweet group of older people asking a guy what the heck is all the fuss about.

Thanks for the shout out, LA Farmer's Market!
Thanks for the shout out, LA Farmer’s Market!

Contrary to what some may be thinking, Pokemon Go is actually quite different from your traditional, sit on your couch video game. The app also thrives on your location. You won’t catch a Tauros at the beach. But, you may find a few Staryu

I also highly recommend Pokemon Go while traveling! For my trip to Chico later this month, my friend already cannot wait to show me all the parks and lakes that are crawling with our little Pokemon’s.

Head to Seal Beach for a gorgeous walk on the pier and some Pokemon catching!
Head to Seal Beach for a gorgeous walk on the pier and some Pokemon catching!

While word is Pokemon Go will soon make it so places can opt out of being a “stop” or “gym”, I’m also anticipating businesses will be able to manually make their location a “stop”. A stop is where players go to obtain more poke balls and other necessary “items” for catching, healing and evolving your Pokemon. I think it would be fantastic if Pokemon Go goes to that simple lucrative next level.

Would you want your business, or even, neighborhood, to be a Poke Stop, if it is not yet? If this post has left you intrigued to learn more about Pokemon Go, feel free to email me at alongcomesmary26@gmail.com. I am in no way a “pro”, but, I am at Level 13 and yes, have even gotten a few Pikachu (my favorite, along with Clefairy!) 😉 xo

  1. Lisa @ The Valley Vegan

    August 1, 2016 at 8:51 am

    My 14-year-old son convinced me to download it, and though I haven’t played yet on my own, we hunt for Pokemon at the grocery store, Target, anywhere we are together. As I said in my Facebook share: maybe we’ll make a date to go to the beach to hunt for our end of the summer celebration. 🙂

    1. AlongComesMary

      August 1, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      The beach is such a fun place to play!!! Thank you for stopping by:)

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