Pokemon has always had a place in my home, growing up it was one of the most popular TV shows/ games. Although I wasn't that good at the game I enjoyed watching it every Saturday morning with my sisters, my sisters and me loved both Digimon and Pokemon., but I would say Pokemon was the bigger thing in my house. In fact, my twin sisters still have their plushies, games and Pokemon cards and Pokedex's not sure how valuable they all are but they can go for a fair bit on Ebay if they're in good condition. As I got older the Pokemon hype did die down, but Pokemon never disappeared from our screens or lives, it's one of those things that's hard to forget and brings hours of enjoyment on a rainy day.
Recently Pokemon celebrated its 20th anniversary, that would have made me 7 when it came out. It's weird because I can't think of a time when Pokemon wasn't in our lives, even when we went to Spain we would watch Pokemon and my sisters got the Spanish versions of the Pokemon game boy games. I personally feel that Pokemon can have a very positive effect on kids, yes they battle their Pokemon but the game and TV itself teaches us about friendships and persevering. How does it teach us about persevering? Ash (the main charecter in Pokemon) sets off to collect, train, evolve and battle his Pokemon. Throughout his journey, he faces a number of problems and set backs, such as team rocket trying to steal Pikachu or losing a gym battle. He still persevered without knowing of he would be successful or not and gets to where he wants to be. Because of this, I learnt that giving up isn't always the option, I try and stick to things (not so much lately) but throughout my life, I have faced set backs and somehow ended up happier and in a better place thanks to persevering.
Friendship is another big factor in Pokemon, Ash makes lots of different friends in towns and cities even gyms. He also has made enemies but the friendships seem to be an important thing to Ash. His friends help him when it comes to persevering showing him that he doesn't have to do things alone and it's ok to accept help. In my life I've made enemies and gained friends, friendships are important to me considering I myself am a loner at times. My friends (as well as family members who are also friends to me) have helped me through a lot and shown me I don't have to go through things alone, much like Ash so If a Tv show/Movie/ Game can teach me these things at a young age I don't see how it could be a bad influence on children or adults either to be honest.
I know a lot of people are hating the Pokemon hype right now and some even putting a tarnish on people who were never interested in Pokemon until Pokemon Go was released. I have an issue with this because Pokemon go is also about friendships and persevering, it's helped people with depression, anxiety and even people with autism come out of their shell. A lot of people I know who play Pokemon go have made new friends espcially with people who all share a love for Pokemon, I'm so glad it's made such a big come back like this! The idea for Pokemon Go came from an April fools day Pokemon hunt on Google maps, my friend Stacey and I most certainly spent April fools day 2014 catching Pokemon on Google maps. I enjoyed discussing with her which ones we had caught and which ones we had left to find so when they announced that Pokemon Go app was going to be released in was obviously ecstatic about it, why? Well it's Pokemon, something I grew up with!
Screen caps from when I was catching Pokmon on google maps for April fools day 2014
Although there are so many positives about this game I should add some of the downsides, I wish there was an offline mode. It may not take up a lot of data but where I live the signal can be terrible sometimes making it harder for people to play on the app, an offline mode would mean I could catch Pokemon and go to Pokemon stops without worrying about having no signal but I do think if they do this you should have to go online to battle at gyms so it's not solely offline based. Another thing is the lure module, these mods can be attached to Pokemon stops to lure Pokemon but the only downside is it makes people an easy target for thieves. I'm not sure how they would go about combating this in the long run but it's lovely seeing people gather at a lure stop talking to each other about this game. The last thing I want to touch on is the game makes it hard for disabled/spoonies to play, the game is designed to get us out and about and moving but there are some people who find this hard. You may say "just get someone to push you about in your wheelchair" that isn't always the answer for some people and I think it's a really inapporiate remark. I do think Niantic Inc should look into making this game more accessible the disabled/spoonies who want to play and aren't able, it would not only help the game grow but it would show how diverse they are. There is a rumour going around that if you send Nintendo proof of your disability they will change your Pokemon Go settings so it makes it easier for you to play the game, this is a nasty rumour someone clearly made up in an effort to be a dick. Not only do Nintendo have no say in this game, they also have nothing to do with how it was made.
I myself haven't played as much of Pokemon Go as others but all in all its a great fun game and people of all ages can enjoy it. I'm glad it was brought out just after the 20th anniversary as more Pokemon products have start surface in more shops (I know what I can get my boyfriend for his birthday thanks to this) and hope it lasts for another more 20 years if not more! I'm loving that more people have started to collect Pokemon cards and play the games again, Nintendo are due to release Pokemon Sun and Moon on November 18th of this year and will be available on Nintendo 3DS, there are over 20 different kinds of Pokemon Nintendo games, so if you want to get in on the Pokemon hype there are plenty of games and merchanise out there to help with that! Please remeber if you're going to play Pokemon Go to play responsibly, keep an eye on your surroundings and on your children if you're out and about playing with them.
Elle May x