Pokemon Go: The Digital Addiction
Is there an AA for gaming? I can’t seem to find it and I think I need to speak to someone about my addiction. Since you’re here, maybe I’ll talk to you. You see, I have a problem. It’s a little problem. Okay I definitely have a problem of debatable size.
It started on a normal day, a day like every other. It was a Friday, I think.
I get home, drop my work stuff in the not-so-neat corner and proceed to greet my loving girlfriend. I get a vague murmur back instead of the usual eager hug and kiss, which leads me to investigate. Upon entry into my kitchen I see her hunched over her phone, swearing as she swiped pedantically on her phone screen. I guessed the cause right away but approached to confirm anyway. Sure enough, she was another victim of the Poke-hunt trend.
At first I thought it amusing to see her take repeated trips to every corner of our yard in hopes of finding whatever was showing on her tracker, but I found her inability to sit still or hold a conversation quite annoying. Having no interest in the crazy at that time, I openly denounced it, not even a little bit curious. It had taken my girlfriend from me before I even saw it myself.
The following week was painful. My other half was incapable of conversation or replying to simple messages, the internet was crowded with (admittedly funny) memes revolving around the AR-wonder and my friends had all jumped head in. I felt as if though I was in a d-grade zombie movie due to being surrounded by absent minded hallow forms of my former social circle. Eventually, curiosity set in. Partly I just wanted to prove I could install it and not get sucked in. Oh what a fool I was.
The first day was spent just trying to get a damned Pikachu as my starter. This alone took me nearly three hours due to my terrible phone. Needless to say I celebrated the success by exiting the app and not looking at it for the remainder of that day.
The rest of the week saw me gradually opening the app more, even needing to charge my phone twice a day after trips to clients; the phone battery liked the game even less than I did. I was not yet addicted but I was annoyed at how quick I became an avid player.
The following weekend saw my partner poking fun at me and my “I’ll never play” notions, as well as comparing our catches and levels. I felt as if I was about to pop a vain after the bragging session, I do not do well with competitive games and this aspect had not hit me till then because I played by myself. Now, however, it was game on.
I used to say that you would have to be a brainless rodent to go walking alone in the dark backstreets of my neighbourhood at night. Even worse during the frost-bite inducing cold of the late night hours where street-light bulbs had long since passed was no place to put your phone on display and your life on the line for a few virtual monsters. On that note I would like to blame the drugs I never took and the anger of competition for making me do such silly things. I jumped at every shadow, saw the same car pass me in the streets repeatedly; driving slowly and imagined the terrible things that could have happen and I longed for the warmth of my bed, but alas, I continued the hunt.
The moment of truth that made me realise I was addicted came when the stalker-car pulled up on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the road. I had just found the Meowth that’s silhouette I had been staring at for the last hour. Just when I try to catch it, the critter disappears and the car takes off. In a fit of rage I yelled “why my Pokémon? Rather take my wallet”! I had realised what happened to me, but I refused to acknowledge it just yet.
Now, the next crime against my own pride was the solution to the problem of walking with your phone in your hand in dangerous areas. Yes, I figured that if I were on a motorcycle and some sketchy looking individual came up to me, I could simply disappear into the street with a slight tug at my throttle. It may also have been to avoid the exercise that came with walking.
This led to me taking the backup scrambler, binding my phone to the front console and taking rides at slow speeds in first gear to find Pokémon. They could not run due to their programming and now they couldn’t hide anywhere I couldn’t go with my off-road bike. It didn’t take long until I practically rode through all the different areas on a nightly basis after work just to catch em’ all. Repeatedly I only got in bed at 3am just to be rudely awoken by my inconsiderate phone alarm.
The acceptance stage came at one of those ungodly hours. I stopped at home, kicked the stand down and then pulled the key out with my numb, bloodshot red fingers. I rattled myself off the seat and let the clattering of my teeth help rid my face of the frost. Coffee was the only hope I had and the only thought that kept me sane. Before I entered my room however, I turned around and had one last look at the two-wheeled hunting wagon and thought: “Maybe I should paint you black and yellow and call you the Poke-bike from here on out”.
The Poke-bike… I mean, that screams help me. So now I ask you for help. Please help me.
I have run out of fuel money and there’s a bloody Kadabra somewhere nearby!