It’s easy to lose yourself in the world of Pokémon Go

Last week, I installed Pokémon Go as a bit of a science experiment. I wanted to understand why so many people have their faces glued to their screens even more than usual, falling of cliffs and the like. My wife also wanted to know if there was a lot of Pokémon activity near our house, so, of course, I volunteered to study the issue. (It turns out there are a couple of Pokestops near our house, which could account for some of the activity.)

When I installed it, I picked up the initial Pokémon that appeared in front of me, then didn’t do much with it until Saturday night. We were on our way back from a family gathering, and my wife was driving, so I pulled out the phone and looked for Pokémon (is that the plural of Pokémon?).

While we were on the freeway, I didn’t see a single Pokémon. I saw evidence that they were in the surrounding neighborhoods, but none appeared to me, which is good, because we don’t need more distracted drivers. Once we got off the freeway, however, things changed. I live in a touristy town, so along the main drag, there were several Pokestops per block, many of which were accessible as we were driving, so I collected many, many Pokeballs. This is good, because I’m pretty bad at flicking the Pokeballs to capture a Pokémon, so I need a lot. In addition, many Pokémon showed up for me to capture, some of them repeats, but still, it was very easy to capture a bunch. I can’t tell you how many I have right now, because the servers seem to be down, as usual, but I jumped from Level 1 to Level 4 pretty quickly.

The reason I say it is easy to lose yourself in the game in the title of this article is that the 20 or 30 minutes it took me to catch my Pokémon went by in a flash. I completely lost track of time, I was so busy accessing Pokestops and capturing Pokémon. I’ll even say it was fun. But it really takes you out of the moment and requires lots of concentration, so I understand why people fall of cliffs or walk into walls. For a casual game, it is surprisingly intense.

 

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