Down this game all you want, but it’s definitely doing some good out there. I absolutely love hearing about the awesome things that are coming out of this! I wanted to gather some of the things I’ve heard from all over the internet. If you have any personal stories of the good this is bringing to you, please share it below.
1. Muncie Animal Shelter
The Muncie Animal Shelter in Muncie, Indiana had a fantastic idea! On July 12th, 2016 they posted this on their Facebook Page:
Since then, there has been an outpouring of Pokémon Go fans heading down there to walk the shelter dogs while trying to Catch Them All! Their facebook page also reports that several dogs have even been adopted as a result of this. How could you not want to take one of their cute little faces home after seeing how well they interact with you and/or your family?
I’ve seen a facebook post going around that they are charging $5 to rent a dog, but from what I’ve seen, this information is false. Walking the dogs is free of charge and players are allowed to take them around the shelter and down a nearby trail. What a wonderful thing!
2. Autism Spectrum
TODAY featured a story about a young boy on the Autism Spectrum and how the game is helping him get out there and be sociable. As many of us may know, eye contact, speech, and routine disruptions are plenty enough reasons to cause a full on meltdown. However, Pokémon Go has inspired this young man to go out of his ordinary schedule to Pokémon hunt. While he’s hunting, he’s also communicating with others and even giving complete strangers high fives! That’s enough right there to make anyone who has ever been exposed to special needs children shed a tear of happiness. I’m so delighted for this family! View the TODAY article here: Pokemon Go Autism Miracle
3. Pokémon Go Creator is Autistic
While we’re on the lines of Autism, I would like to share something absolutely awesome that I discovered. The very man who created the original Pokémon game way back when is Autistic himself! Satoshi Tajiri, the founder of Game Freak, was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. He says his main inspiration for the game was pulled from his childhood hobby of collecting bugs. He wanted to share this feeling with others and when he saw Gameboy’s being able to interact with one another, he knew that was the way. If that isn’t some true inspiration, I don’t know what is.
4. Bringing People Together
Pokémon Go is helping to bridge the gaps of several human differences. While walking around our local park, I have witnessed people of different ages, races, backgrounds, genders, and disabilities looking past all of that to focus on the one thing we all have in common. With all of the wars on differences going on today, this is a very refreshing change.
I’ve gone up to children I’ve never met before asking for suggestions. The kids feel really important when they can tell an adult what’s going on instead of the traditional other way around. I love that feeling! I’ll ask questions that I already know the answer to just to see their tiny little faces light up with purpose. I thought I was going to feel out of place walking around playing a “child’s game” until I realized that my inner child met the qualifications just fine. This guy has the right idea:
5. Actual Interaction
Ever since the major catching on of social media, I have observed that people are a lot less, well, social. I may only be in my late 20’s, but I can say I remember “the good old days” when you wanted to talk to someone, you called or just stopped by. My friends and I always had a few meeting spots around town where we would all join up and decide what we were going to do that day. No pre-planning necessary. Now that we have every intimate detail of what everyone we know is doing at our finger tips, we’ve kind of forgotten how to do the whole face to face thing.
The same applies to gaming. Online gameplay allows us to remain hermits and still play games together instead of just going over and system linking or playing two player. Again, in “the good old days” my friends and I used to have something we called Halo Night. It was the oddest thing to see everyone coming up the driveway with T.V.’s and X-Boxes strapped into their back seats. We’d set up all over the house and play Halo together. There’s nothing like yelling obsinities across the table because that guy, the one you can peer at, just shot you. Man I miss those nights.
I rambled off a little there. My apologies.
Pokémon Go actually brings people back outside. Back to face to face interaction. The park is filled with groups of friends all hunting together. All meeting at a certain time and place and walking around together. It’s a beautiful thing that makes me reminisce.
While we’re talking about become a society of hermits, let’s take a moment to appreciate how this game actually makes us want to leave our homes. I have never been to the park so much in my life! Even though it seems a lot of us (Americans) have no idea how far 10 kilometers actually is, we’re trying our best to make that distance to hatch eggs. We’re walking for a purpose.
This reminds me of an English teacher I had in 7th grade. He had the ability to teach us without us knowing we were being taught. His favorite band was Phish. We learned more about them then we did English. Wait a minute. No, we didn’t. We learned English while learning about Phish.
My point here is, we’re exercising without even noticing that we’re doing it. Climbing that hill in hopes of there being a Squirtle at the top doesn’t seem so much like a chore.
Pokestops are mainly connected to some kind of landmark that could have otherwise gone completely unnoticed. Did you know that the oldest building in my entire city is just down the road from me? I had no idea until I started playing this game. I’m discovering all sorts of new things. There’s even a stop at the “Optimist Area” at the park. This one always makes me smile. I’ve driven past it before without even a second look. Now that I know it’s there, it’s name brings me joy. This one would bring me a giggle too. Some of the names are pretty hilarious!
— #PokéStopsDaily (@PokeStopsDaily) July 19, 2016
8. Fantastic Coincidence
Daily Mail published a story that tells the tale of a long lost Pokémon fan who had something special for his brother. While Robin Reijers was visiting his little brother Michael’s grave, a virtual Pikachu appeared next to the Pikachu headstone placed there 15 years earlier.
The long time fans always played Pokémon together as kids. Robin says, “He always got the upper hand of me in Pokémon.” How awesome is it that they can still play together in such an interesting way?
9. Community Outpouring for Bullied Autistic Teen
Babble and ABC news . A teen and his mother were Pokémon hunting in the park when two ill-willed boys stomped on a BBQ sauce bottle coating the pair as they were resting. As we’ve covered above, the mere fact that an autistic child can fight past all of their impulses to leave the house and interact with the public is amazing all by itself. For two bullies to barge in and attempt to ruin that is a travesty.
Thankfully, word spread about this injustice and the community stepped up. They set up a play-date in the park and brought gifts for the young boy. Such commendable behavior from complete strangers was enough to bring the joy back to a heartbroken young man and his family. There are good people out there after all.
10. You Guys Don’t Look Sick!
USA Today reports that a children’s hospital in Michigan has found a way to help their patients get up and out of bed. They allow the children to play Pokémon Go on campus!
Being stuck in a hospital room for days or weeks on end can get rather depressing. Being depressed is never good for anyone’s health, but the staff and parents have found a way to change all that.
Once lethargic youngsters are now running around with smiles and talking to everyone they pass. I’ve always heard that laughter is the best medicine.
I’m sure there are many, many more stories. I’m proud of my fellow geeks for all the good that is being done out there all because of this one common interest.
Above images are not my own. Credits are given on the linked pages.
Thanks for reading and remember to always spread a little joy wherever you Go. Happy Hunting Everyone!