gary-motherfucking-oak

I wrote this on my Misty's coffee cup today

Look at your man.

Now back to me.

Now back to him. Now back to me. Sadly, he isn’t me. But he could be as cool as me if he stopped being such a horrible trainer. Look down, back up. Where are you? You’re in a gym with the man your man could be like. What’s that in your hand?

Look up, I have it. It’s a Pokeball with that Tentacruel you wanted. Anything is possible when your man is not a loser. I’m on a Rapidash. Backwards.

I’m playing Pokémon Go, and it’s a lot of fun, but it’s also given me an opportunity to witness something very strange. I’m lucky to live in a walkable urban neighborhood with multiple gyms, and they’re all controlled by this one kid, who’s maybe around ten years old.

This sounds cute, right? WRONG.

The kid is a little shit, and he’s unilaterally nasty to anyone who tries to talk to him. There’s a gym outside a local café, where I’ve had the odd experience of sitting and watching him at work. If someone sees him playing and asks for help or advice, he tells them that he doesn’t want them to get better than him. If someone asks him to ease up so that they can train at the gym, he tells them that they don’t deserve to play if they’re too weak. And so on. The kid is really serious about pokémon, and he seems to only be able to have fun with the game if no one else is.

This situation has forced me to reevaluate the premise of the Pokémon games, in which the player-character is, similarly, a ten-year-old kid who apparently doesn’t have anything better to do with his life than to walk around fighting everyone he encounters. It’s a lot of fun to be that kid in the games, but watching the expression of that attitude in real life is… kind of upsetting?