Undoubtedly, Pokémon GO is the world’s biggest phenomenon at the moment. Pokémon GO has proudly sat atop the Apple App Store throne for nineteen days, reaching that point in less than five hours. Speculation has been all over the place as to the staying power of the game. Minecraft creator Notch tweeted on July 12th, six days after its release date, that, “…it’s a fad that will die very quickly. Nobody wants to move.” One can imagine that the creator of such a revolutionary game would know a thing or two about the industry, but I have to argue.
The week of its release, I went to a Pokémon GO meetup that was scheduled on Facebook by a fan of the game. Around fifty people showed up at my local park sometime around the window of the meet up to catch pocket monsters, hang out with friends and make new ones. Keep in mind, this is a small town in rural Virginia, right next to the meet was a blue grass Christian concert that happens every Wednesday called “Praise in the Park.” However, people showed up, and beyond that, people of all different colors, genders and beliefs. In a time where racial conflict is at its peak in the United States since the Civil Rights Movement, where the war of African-American versus White is raging to new heights, the fact that people of all different types could gather together and all get along shows a beacon of hope, rising above the pollution of discrimination. Pokémon GO has economically reached new heights for a mobile game, but even more importantly, socially and culturally it is a massive step towards showing the world that if we can band together for one common goal, even if that goal is something as silly as “catching” virtual creatures in a public park on our phones, we can tear down the walls of discrimination, rise up as a civilization and finally realize that we are all in this together.
Below is a picture taken of just some of us at the meet, before we all began singing as one, “I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was…”