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?