I’ve a love, hate relationship with Pokémon Go. On one hand it gives me the nostalgic feeling of the original Pokémon game and is a nice distraction whilst out walking. On the other hand it’s just not good, it’s too random, repeatative and incomplete. So why do I keep playing?
I started playing Pokémon Go the week it released in the USA. My daughter had been born the week before and I was on paternity leave. A combination of the right time and a sense of nostalgia drew me in. I played a decent amount in the early hours of the mornings those first few weeks. Walking a baby to sleep is definitely helped by the simple act of catching endless numbers of Drowzee.
The game was, for a decent while, broken. Spawn points, rates, tracking & egg probabilities all had issues. I however persevered. The Catch em’ all mentality had set in. I wanted it to be good, I wanted the Pokémon experience. Really what I was getting was a half finished, buggy game and I was kidding myself that it was anything other. Luckily it went through updates fixing a lot of the most prevalent issues. The variety of Pokemon found in the wild increased which gave me a renewed sense of both accomplishment and, the slightly waning, nostalgia. Catching a wild Snorlax or Electabux definitely brought a sense of achievement.
During Halloween, around 5 months after release, the first event took place. At this point my regular evening walk had diminished to a few evenings a week and progress on the Pokedex slowed. I didn’t mind. I’d been playing less and less as a previous update had destroyed all the rare spawn points I’d found. So I allowed the event to pull me back in. The increase in candy, used to evolve Pokemon, and the ghost types that appeared filled in a few of the gaps and I found myself substituting my usual evening slot for a walk at lunch. After the event finished the variety in my area dried up and I essentially stopped playing. Something however always drew me in once or twice a week even on a quick walk to the shop. I can’t explain why. I’m not sure if it gripped me or I was just used to turning it on when I left the house.
Further events during Christmas, New year and again at Valentines saw me boot it up for a few days at a time. I never hit the heights of those first few months however. The persistent issues and that lack of variety stopped me from playing regularly and outside of the events I barely started it up.
Along then comes Generation 2. A slew of new Pokémon, evolution’s and refined mechanics and I was back. I wasn’t as familiar with gen 2 as the original cast and the nostalgia had worn down completely at this point. So why? Why am I coming back?
The games been refined, the events, new Pokémon and the daily check in’s with a weekly bonus play a little part but I think it’s just become ingrained in me to play. I still occasionally take my daughter, who’s 9 months old now, for a walk to sooth her to sleep. Once she’s gone the phone comes out and I gleefully wander catching the same 15 Pokémon so common in my area. Sounds stupid though I’m sure I’ll keep playing until it becomes unsupported.
Furthermore the recently finished water event suggested increased rates in rare water Pokémon but have I seen a Lapras? Like fuck have I. Have I kept playing anyway? Fuck I’m so weak.