Pokémon Go is Still Alive and Well in the Evansville Area in 2021
In 2016, Niantic launched the augmented reality mobile game, Pokémon Go. It was a collaboration between The Pokémon Company and Nintendo. While I admittedly was never a follower of Pokémon, I was intrigued by the augmented reality and the catching of cute little cartoon creatures. I downloaded the app.
As someone not well versed in the world of Pokémon, Pokémon Go was a novel and fun way to get up, get moving, and spend some time being "big kids" with my husband. After a couple of weeks, there were some pretty major glitches in the app and it made it frustrating - and sometimes even infuriating - to try to play. It would freeze and lock up often. It turns out there were more people playing the augmented reality game on the go than the age servers could successfully manage. We abandoned the game and I deleted the app without a second thought.
Fast forward 5 years later and I'm having lunch with my 20-year-old niece last Saturday when she tells me she is hoping to play some Pokémon Go because "it's Poké-fest this weekend." As you can imagine, I have no idea what she's talking about but she wants to play and I want to spend time with her, so I did what any good auntie would do - I re-downloaded the Pokémon Go app, reconnected it to my Google account, and suddenly I am sitting at Level 16 with a Poké-dex full of creatures, a cache of Poké balls and luckily, I had on my walking shoes!
We wandered around downtown Evansville trying to "Catch 'em all!" and hitting as many Pokéstops and gyms as we can while catching more Pokémon. I get home and tell my husband about all the fun we had and he downloads the app too. On Monday he and I took a walk along the Evansville riverfront which is rife with Pokéstops, gyms, and Pokémon. On Wednesday we visited the Newburgh riverfront and again, plenty of Pokéstops, gyms, and Pokémon.
But there was something else... There were plenty of people playing Pokémon Go! In fact, when I shared a selfie that Shawn & I took, along with the caption,
I dragged him down to the riverfront to play Pokémon GO with me
I immediately had friends commenting with their trainer codes so we can be friends in the app. While we were in Newburgh, I spotted entire groups of people walking and playing Pokémon Go. We even had a little boy about 8 or 9 years old shout at us from across the street, "Are you guys playing Pokémon?" We replied in the affirmative, that we were in fact playing Pokémon and that's when he asked us which "Raid Battle" we were going to...
I panicked. While I've seen the raid battles in the app and I've even gotten app notifications telling me that there is a raid battle near me about to start, I honestly have no idea what a raid battle is, how to "go to one," or what I would even be expected to do once I got there. So in a moment of complete impulsivity, my 40-something-self yells back across the street,
Oh, I don't know how to do that! I'm old!!!
Clearly, this kid knew I wasn't lying because he just laughed and then went about his way. Shawn and I did the same, continuing to fill our bags back up with Poké balls, Great balls, and Ultra balls and capturing as many Pokémon as we could - including a female Jynx. We captured so many Pokémon that the app is now telling me that my Poké-dex is full and apparently I need to transfer some of them to the Professor. Unfortunately, I don't know how to do that either. While I am officially now a level 21 Pokémon trainer, I think I had better find myself a tutor or some online tutorials so I can figure it out. That way, next time some young kid asks me which Raid Battle I'm going to, I can give a more suitable answer than "I'm old!" lol