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Confessions of a Pokémon GO Widower

Ok, so two days ago my wife lamented to me that the free “Pokémon GO” app wasn’t available in Canada. I stared at her blankly trying to figure out how to respond. I vaguely remember Pokémon being some type of game from the 1990’s, and the name “Pikachu” along with a fuzzy image of a yellow smiling anime mouse welled up from somewhere deep in my memory banks. I nodded knowingly, without actually really acknowledging that I was clueless. “Too bad” I said, thinking the conversation was over and I could go back to listening to some youtube video about biohacking.

But there was more.

She went on to hint that her friends had even gone to the US Apple Store in order to purchase it. I stared blankly,  secretly thinking it must be out of some insane desperation that a person would attempt a virtual cross-border trip for a kids game.

Pokémon GO

Photo Credit: Jake Sheridan

Well, yesterday I learned just how much “Pokémon GO” would invade my life and upset the careful balance in my harmonious existence. The first inkling I got was that my wife disappeared with my son and a couple of the neighbours kids. No explanation, no text, no phone call, hours gone without any contact at all, and in the middle of thunderstorm too.

Virtual Reality Game "Pokémon GO"

Photo Credit: Jake Sheridan

Well, it WASN’T a thunderstorm YET, but the weather DID look menacing. She did followup with a phone call after a couple of hours just to let me know they were ok and hadn’t been abducted by aliens. The conversation went something like this:

ME: “Hello!
MARY: “(In a very excited voice) We’re hunting Pokémon’s
ME: “I see”.
MARY: “I’ve caught 50 Pokémon’s so far.”

There was a long pause during which I couldn’t figure out what to say.

ME: “Are you coming home?
MARY: “We have so many Pokémon’s to catch – Oh Dylan, there’s another one! Help mommy get it!!
ME: “Mary, it’s getting dark out, are you coming home?”
MARY: “click
ME: “Hello? hello? Ok…”

Catch a Pokémon

Photo Credit: Jake Sheridan

So there it is. Pokémon GO is apparently so addictive that it could potentially lead to the breakdown of the family unit as we know it. I was careful not to bring up any Pokémon GO references once she returned in order to covertly try to reduce the impact this addictive app has on my delicate family eco system.

Catching the coveted Pokémon Pikachu

Photo Credit: Jake Sheridan

But it didn’t end there. This morning, in our morning rush to get to work and drop-off my son at daycare, I hear my wife announce in a loud disappointed voice that I was driving “too fast” and that she missed a Pokémon she was trying to get while I was driving her to the SkyTrain. At that moment I knew I was beat. Here was a game that literally would be with us no matter where we went. Addictive games are usually relegated to free time interspersed between periods of other responsibilities, but now this virtual reality based game is ever present, progressively more addictive, and is even requiring me to drive slower so that my family can “hunt” and “catch” Pokémon’s on the way to work. I’m not sure where this is headed, but I’m definitely more appreciative that my wife now is getting more exercise due to the game, as I’ve learned that it often requires gamers to walk 2k, 5k, 10k, and even sometimes 20k per day to keep feeding their addiction to “hunting” and “catching” Pokémon’s.

Pokémon Pikachu In My Pokédex

Photo Credit: Jake Sheridan

If anything, we will all be better off if we downloaded Pokémon GO, got off the couch, shut off the TV, and headed out into our environment in search of the illusive Pokémon’s, and even meeting up with each other through adding friends and acquaintances to our Pokémon hunting Team.

After this morning, I realized that “resistance is futile” and have downloaded the app. So, in order to continue to interact with my family, I’ve created my own Pokémon GO hunter with the “cool” name of JakeWonderBoy, and will be sharing tips for new users in my next post. When I told my wife I had downloaded and used it, she was ecstatic and said “Yaaaay…(smiling broadly)…now we can go hunting together!!!“…perhaps this is going to be the new definition of “date night” for modern times…Pokémon hunting. Oh yes…my first tip will be how to catch Pikachu as a new user.

To download the free “Pokémon GO” app (released July 6 2016) on iTunes click here: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/pokemon-go/id1094591345?mt=8

Also, to find more Pokémon’s in your area, check out the free “Poke Radar for Pokémon GO” app (released on July 14 2016) on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/poke-radar-for-pokemon-go/id1133187993?mt=8

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