The Five Stages of Pokemon Go

The Five Stages of Pokemon Go

This is a thing, huh? Pokemon Go. In full disclosure, I played Pokemon in late elementary and early junior high - right when it came out. I WAS AN EARLY ADOPTER. Pokemon Red and Blue entertained my brothers and I for countless hours on our Gameboy's during long car trips, and I distinctly remember when Yellow came out.

I haven't played it since.

I don't plan on playing it soon.

But it strikes me that there are five different responses to the game that has caught the nation by storm.

1. The Passionate Adopter

I'm just a bill. Sitting here on capital hill... waiting for a bulbasaur to appear.

This is a small group of users - the ones who tracked Nintendo's press releases - who anticipated Go with eagerness... yeah, it's like 23 people. It's not you.

Edit: With just a modicum of research, I can now confirm this is a reasonable percentage of the population. Like .001% at least (hey, that's 32,000 people).

2. The Non-cynical Adopter

These are the majority of users - probably 80% of y'all. You like the game. You're playing it for yourself, in your free time. With friends. With your kids. Whatever - either way, you're having fun. Good on you!

3. The Cynic

2026: Pokemon Go reaches Mars and the mass exodus commences.

This is the most enjoyable subset of people to watch. You're not playing the game (because you're better than than), but worse yet, you see Pokemon as a portent of the evil to come. Everything is disastrous, the world is coming to an end, and by golly, Pokemon Go is the harbinger of the devil. If you listen carefully, you can hear the echo of the trumpet call of the rapture in the gentle coo of Jigglypuff.

There is no end to the cynicism directed toward Pokemon Go. From broad sweeping generalizations to overt judgmentalism, the backlash against Go has been stunning.

It's even more stunning considering the vast, vast vast (vast) majority of people playing are really genuinely looking to have a decent time. The suckers.

4. The Self Righteous Against the Cynic

The backlash against the cynic has been hilarious as well. Ultimately, it is slightly less hilarious than the cynics themselves - if only because self-righteousness is always moderately cringe-worthy - but definitely still good. It pretty much takes the form of the paragraph above: "Why in the world would you hate on honest-to-goodness American's just looking to have a good time, you heartless commies?"

For you, you're not playing because, well, you have better things to do (like Facebook), but you're not going to allow other people to be denied their rights to do what they want! You'll loudly decry the assault on the decency of Pokemon Go players (on Facebook)!

Listen. Some people are just cynical. It's ok, ok? Let them be cynical. Nobody wins when we start being self-righteous.

5. The Cynical About The Self-Righteous

On the "amusing" scale, wedged right between the cynics and the self righteous are the "cynical about the self righteous." These are the people who have tracked with this whole Pokemon Go phenomenon so well that they've moved past cynical, moved past self-righteous and now sit in retroactive cynicism against the self righteousness of people focused on the cynicism lodged against the typical adopters.

"Aha - it's so pathetic - look at these people defending these people playing these silly games against these other people who think it's silly! Those people are... uh...

"What people am I talking about again?"

Seriously, this is a complicated social movement.

Anyway, if I were going to put one last category on this list, it would be pretty far down the "pathetic list." And it would be for people who spend an evening blogging about the whole phenomenon.

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