“Gotta catch ‘em all!” I teased Will as he ran off in pursuit of his next Pokémon. We were strolling through Washington Park for Pokémon GO Fest, the 5th-anniversary event for the best mobile game ever created.
My involvement in Pokémon GO came primarily from my cousin William, who moved to Colorado right before our junior year and was struggling to engage socially. Participating in Pokémon “Community Days” helped me bond with Will, who might not have opened up otherwise. I was grateful that the Pokémon GO community could be there for him, but I found myself also enthralled with the concept.
Pokémon GO’s domination of pop culture has faded, but the community remains fortified with fans who see value beyond the traditional approach of merely battling. The real rewards come when we take a risk and join forces to fight the “legendary” bosses, housed at various landmarks around the park. Twenty players each use their most powerful Pokémon to take down the rare creature, hoping to add it to their arsenal for the next battle. I love the split-second decision of trusting someone new with my loyal cousin by my side.
Through Pokémon GO, I compete and collaborate and am refined by both. Individual battles enhance my strategy, but it’s our collective skills that unite to capture the rarest Pokémon. This community has taught me to contribute what I can, be ever grateful for my companion, and follow my gut to trust the big wide world of people.