Editor’s Note: Melissa Wright is a new columnist. Wright is living and working in Roswell and shares her impression and experiences.
I am at that age where getting 10% off at Denny’s and other perks is a thing, as if it is remarkable that we have attained this magical age. Surviving motherhood, school meetings, attended all recitals, programs, darning socks and running a 24-hour lost and found. I liken these perks to being “mature,” which subconsciously limits our behaviors and certainly our activities. Not saying that I do not enjoy a good discount.
I prefer to think of myself wiser and not “mature.” The word makes me feel like an overripe tangelo. That being said, those of you who were lucky enough to raise one or more children who were temporarily obsessed with Pokémon cards and Gameboys should recall standing in checkout lines — with the benign-appearing little packs of cards calling your child’s name everywhere — in search of the ever-illusive holographic Pikachu. I will admit that after some time, I also was opening packs with bated breath. The interactive Nintendo games and cartoons followed in 1996.
Fast forward to the year 2016, along with the ever-present evolution of smartphones, iPhones and “go-anywhere-anytime” phones, Pokémon GO was released. Now you could catch, battle and collect wherever you went. I remember the hype, and I think I even tried it then. However, not being a phone aficionado, I found I could not readily get into it.
Fast forward again to the present, which doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but technology has gotten the better of me. I now have an Android phone and my youngest is in a college out of state. When I visited him recently, I overheard him saying, “Dang, I need a Charizard,” or something to that effect, which caught my aging, yet young mind. “What are you all doing?” was my question. “Mom, download Pokémon GO and we can be friends.” “Um, OK?” So, onto my phone it goes.
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It knows where you are — your phone and the game map, not the government — and offers locations in real time, called Poke Stops. This is where you stop and collect poke balls — which you need — and presents, which you can send to your friends on your list — it adds to your experience points — kind of like “karma.” It keeps track of your steps — you need this to hatch eggs — which makes you want to walk to places. I hear this is a good activity for those of us with 10% off.
A game blogger I am not, so I will not go into any details, but there are huge locations on your map and different things to achieve. I believe you will battle in these locations, which I haven’t attempted. I do find myself wanting to go to different locations in real time, like walking down Main Street or walking through the park, the Pokémon should love the park, right? Ah, they should love Cielo Grande, or Spring River Park & Zoo and Bottomless State Park, too. I may have to go, because I will admit, I am obsessed.
My thoughts? If you are an empty nester, catch Pokémon! If your kids still play, become friends and exchange presents. When they come to visit or are back from college, take walks together and have adventures together. It does promote adventure and walking! Hint: a certain coffee shop in a grocery store in Roswell is a poke stop! Not only can you shop for your groceries and have a mocha frappe, you can stock up on poke balls and items. It’s like doing responsible “mature” things with a bonus. Wow, that is a plus. For now, no fierce gameplay for me, I just “GOTTA CATCH ‘EM ALL,” and of course, level up beyond my kids’ status, catch the elusive “shinys,” and maybe make time for some healthy walks in some fabulous locations. So get out with your friends, family, children or take the dog, find your inner trainer and walk, walk and walk some more.
Did you like Wright’s column? If you want to hear more of her experiences in Roswell, or have a message for her, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 575-622-7710, ext. 309.