Happy 4 year anniversary to Pokémon Go! Woo! You may remember from my Pokémon Go blog before that it has helped me massively with my mental health and socialising. At the end of the blog I mention it helped me connect with someone when I started a new job and soon became genuine friends, not just colleagues with them.
That person is Steph, and she has been working hard to get a little honorary post for the 4 year anniversary about how much Pokémon Go has positively affected her life too.
Let me introduce…
Steph AKA pkmntrnrsteph:
Today, 10th July 2020, is my 4 year anniversary on Pokémon Go. I have played this game every single day for the last 4 years. Yes, seriously. And there’s nothing else on my phone or any of my consoles that I can say that about. No other single game has captivated me for so long, and I don’t imagine it ever will.
I grew up with Pokémon, and it’s honestly my favourite thing. I’ve watched the anime, played all the main series and spin off games, collected the cards – but it was always more of a private hobby. When I heard that Pokémon Go was coming, and that it was going to let me experience Pokémon “in real life”, I was sceptical but very excited. So excited in fact that I pretended to live in New Zealand because I couldn’t wait for it to be released in the UK… (Niantic if you’re somehow reading this please don’t ban me I just really love Pokemon)
Many will say it’s just a game, it’s supposed to be for kids and I need to grow up. But they have no idea what they’re talking about. Over these 4 years this game has, really truly honestly, changed my life.
I walk now.
I never liked walking, because it’s boring. But now walking is an opportunity to find things – catch new Pokémon, spin Pokéstops, complete research tasks, do some raids. If its nice out I’ll go walking just to look for a good place to take some AR photos. On my worst days, when I’ve been really ill or done my back in, I’ve still at least dragged myself around the block so I can do my daily spin – and more often than not, once I’m out I stay out and walk for way longer than I intended, because there’s always more to do.
I’m very much an introvert and I can get quite socially anxious. Raids were the first thing that really forced you to play Pokémon Go with others, and at first I couldn’t do that. I would only do ones I could complete on my own, or where I could drive into range of the gym and hide in the car while we did it. But then I joined a newly created Discord server and started chatting online with some lovely local players, and eventually I went to my first raid with other people – I was super quiet, but I was there, and that was a really big deal for me. I went on to meet some fantastic people at raids, some of which I now consider my best friends. We have a wonderful local community and I’m proud to be a part of it.
I met my boyfriend.
This seems like it should be first on the list but I’m doing these chronologically! We’d met briefly at some local raids and remarked on being the only yellows there (Team Instinct ftw), but it was during the first Community Day (which I actually almost didn’t go to, see #2) that we first hung out properly. He asked to borrow my battery pack, and we spent the day chatting and hunting shiny Pikachu in the rain. From there we spent a ton of time together playing the game and he quickly became one of my best friends. A couple of months ago we celebrated our 2 year anniversary together. And he’s still borrowing my battery pack!
I’m more confident.
This isn’t entirely down to the game, but what the game has given me. With a wonderful boyfriend and these awesome new friends by my side, I’ve ventured well out of my comfort zone. Since PVP launched I’ve competed at some massive tournaments, hosted lots of local ones, and even appeared on a livestream which was truly terrifying. I’ve travelled all over the place to get special spawns or attend events, and I finally got on a plane for the first time in my life (aged 27 and scared absolutely witless by the whole idea) because I got talked into flying to Germany for the first Safari Zone. Here’s a photo that I took at the top of a volcano:
I used to get anxious about getting on a bus, and here I was at the top of a volcano catching a Pokémon. It’s a bit ridiculous.
Look at that, 4 things for 4 years – that wasn’t even on purpose!
I suppose what I’m saying in all of this is that Pokémon Go really has made me go. It’s made me get out of my bubble and do stuff. It’s given me love, new friends, more confidence and some amazing memories. The game still isn’t perfect, and it frustrates the hell out of me sometimes, but I am beyond thankful for all it’s done for me, and I hope it’s still alive and well in another 4 years – I’ll certainly still be playing it if it is.
Thanks for reading! If you’re not sick of me yet, I talk nonsense about Pokémon and other nerdy stuff on Twitter @pkmntrnrsteph, and if you like my AR photos I post them on Instagram @pkmntrnrsteph too.
So much thanks to Steph for doing this – what a star! – It doesn’t take much to realise who her favourite Pokémon is – and she’s got the tattoo to prove it too!
I always welcome guest blogs, so if you’ve a fandom that has helped you with your mental health, or that has given you positivity in life feel free to get in touch I’d love to hear it and spread the good word of Geekdom
You can also keep up to date and follow me on social media:
Stay stafe & stay strong,
Love Ray x