Did you know that there are creatures that are only visible on phones that are taking over the world? They are called Pokémon. Since being released two weeks ago, the world has been in a state of Pokémania. It has taken social media by storm; you cannot go more than a few minutes without seeing a new post about Pokémon GO. I must admit, I was a skeptic when this first came out. I didn't think it would be worth all the hype. But all that changed when I found an Eevee in my backyard.
What is most impressive about this game is the impact it is making on people. It gets people moving, socializing, and working together. Some are saying that it is even improving their mental health. So, I took to reddit to see what kind of adventures people were going on via Pokémon GO and my smile just kept on getting bigger and bigger...
15 Better than Tinder
With the amount of people this game is bringing together, it really shouldn't be that surprising that many Pokécouples are being made in the process. Reddit user particular_nonparity tells his story of his chance encounter: "Yesterday something happened to me that I absolutely wasn't expecting. It was so perfect, it felt like I'd been transported to a movie or a TV show. It was only a brief moment in time, but the fond memory will stay with me for years. It was in the midst of all those server issues we were having – when the servers had come back up, but were still a bit shaky. I decided I would try and take out a red gym anyway. I sat on the grass, slowly defeating Pokémon that stalled on 1 hp, and took down the prestige by a fair amount, but not enough to take back the gym. I didn't manage to get back in the fight though. It was lagging and kept stalling and not loading the Pokémon! Eventually though, something different happened. It wouldn't let me start the fight at all. I realized what had happened when I looked at the prestige – zero! Someone had taken out the gym for me. I had sort of noticed the girl sitting nearby on a bench. It looked like she was texting someone or something so I didn't think anything of it. She was wearing headphones, so perhaps she was listening to music and enjoying the sunshine. Well, I backed out of the gym to see it had a new owner. Thankfully she was on the same team as me, so I set down one of my own Pokémon alongside hers. I looked over to the girl on the bench, and slowly realized she was the other trainer. She stood up, and we made eye contact. She gave me the cheekiest smile I have ever seen, and walked off with a bounce in her step. For a moment I was stunned by how perfect this moment was. After she left, I checked the new gym leader's in game name. So shout out to Sleepingmaiden – you really made my day!"
14 Poke poke pass
As the world implies, lures are a great way to lure Pokémon to a Pokéstop. For 30 minutes, it will attract more Pokémon to that certain area, making it easier for you to catch more. But, as reddit user QuartrMastr's friend learned, lures are being used to catch more than just Pokémon, they are also being used to catch certain types of new friends: "He opened up Pokémon GO around 30 minutes ago and saw that there was a lure at a Pokéstop near his house. When he went to the Pokéstop there was this small group of other teenagers who were smoking weed. Because my friend is a bright individual he said, 'Hey are you the ones who set up the lure?' Lo and behold, they are. All because they wanted smoking buddies. Ridiculous and hilarious at the same time."
13 Bringing families closer together
Pokémon GO players aren't just making new friends, they are also getting closer to their families through this awesome game. Reddit user Aquatence witnessed some bonding firsthand: "This afternoon, my mate and I decided we would go for a walk around our local estuary to see if there were any gyms or stops around. We found a few stops and eventually came across a gym owned by Mystic. Naturally, we took it (Valor, represent). After training at our newly owned gym for a little while a couple of kids about the age of 8 or 9 came cruising along on their bikes and yelled, "Hey you took our gym!" We both chuckled and tried to reply as politely as we could when their father came along on his bike too. They all stopped and the kids started to look at what Pokémon we had put in the gym and were wondering if they could beat it. The father suggested that they at least give it a go. After about 10 or 15 minutes of the kids battling our Pokémon and us trying to hold it off, we decided to wander back to the stops we visited earlier then head off as it was started to become evening. As we left we said our farewells and I wished the kids good luck with the gym. Once we got near the end of the path we stopped to decide what we wanted to do for the rest of the evening. After about 5 minutes the kids came riding back past but the stopped this time to talk to us. They were super excited to tell us that they had reclaimed their gym and then started blabbing on about other Pokémon related stuff until their Dad had caught up again. The father stopped and started talking the two boys about where they were headed then they all left to go and get ice cream. All in all it was a cool little moment that we shared with this father who was taking his kids out to catch some Pokémon."
12 Whipping people into shape – in more ways than one
People seem to think that it is only overweight people that need to get into shape. That is not the case. There are many who struggle to keep weight and muscle mass on. The majority of weight-related Pokémon GO stories are about how it is helping people lose weight, but reddit user TopKekSkye shares his story of how it did the opposite: "For a lot of people, Pokémon GO has been an incredible tool for weight loss and self improvement, and that's great! For me, it's been the perfect way to get back on my feet. I don't need to lose any weight, in fact I need to gain it. At 18, I spent the last year playing varsity hockey year round at my school. Halfway through the season I suffered a pretty debilitating back injury after being checked from behind. I had to wear a giant brace, and my hockey career was essentially over, I walked with a limp and still do. For about the next 6 months, I simply sat around playing video games all day. This caused me to lose about 30 pounds, as I have a hyperactive metabolism, the absence of workouts and lifting devastated me. I fell to about 120 pounds, (for perspective, I am 6'2). I was a complete skeleton. Fast forward to July, and my weight hasn't moved at all, and my family is considering putting me on prescription supplements. Well, that all changed when Pokémon GO came out! Seeing it in the app store, I remembered the thousands of Pokémon cards and my giant collection of vintage Gameboy games in the basement. My local gym and track are both Pokéstops, and now I'm running, biking, and even lifting again almost daily. Although it doesn't matter to the substance of the story, I'm also re-watching all of Pokémon indigo league on Netflix."
11 Two dogs rescued thanks to Pokémon Go!
While Pokémon GO has lead players to make some pretty gruesome discoveries, some have made some pleasant ones. Like reddit user ConCaffeinate: "My friends and I were out doing a circuit of nearby Pokéstops this weekend, when we encountered more than just wild Pokémon. Two dogs wandered up to us, a Black Lab and a Yellow Lab, the latter half-covered in mud. They didn't have collars, and there was no one around. They were friendly enough, and ended up following us back home (We walked for quite some time, but the dogs evidently didn't seem to have a destination in mind. Their goal seemed to be 'sniff things and be near people'). When we got back, my friends went off to do their own things, leaving me outside with two dogs that didn't seem to understand the concepts of 'moving vehicles' or 'traffic.' Realizing that these sweet goofs would probably get hit if left to their own devices, I tried contacting Animal Control... which apparently doesn't operate on weekends? (At least not here) I spent half an hour calling different municipal agencies, trying to find someone who would take the dogs in-all while repeatedly alerting passing motorists to the dogs' presence, to avoid tragedy. I finally found a local vet clinic that would take them in, scan them for microchips, and then either contact the owners or hold them until Monday when the shelter opened. I managed to convince the dogs to hop in the back of my hatchback, praying that they wouldn't jump over onto the seats (They didn't).When I got to the clinic, it turned out that they did have microchips! (Moral of the story: Always microchip your pets!)"
10 Officer Jenny would be so proud!
Much to everyone's surprise, the law enforcement has been super cool with Pokémon players, for the most part. In fact, many cops have actually started playing the game themselves. When police showed up to a huge meet up, Reddit user iaminfamy thought they would shut them down. But instead...: "So everyone is having a great time running around when the cops showed up. They drove their car into the center of the circle and headed to the boardwalk which is just wide enough for their car and perhaps another along side it. The boardwalk is covered in people, and when the cops aligned themselves in the dead center of the boardwalk everyone kind of stopped what they were doing and looked at them. People starting parting down the middle to make room for the cops. That's when they did it... they turned their lights on, the ones they use to hail cars and tell them to pull off the road... People gasped, they were shutting us down, we weren't even doing anything. We heard their loudspeaker come on, and we knew what we were going to hear 'Vacate the area by order of the Long Beach Police Department.' But the sound that eventually did come out of the loudspeaker was not something anyone was expecting. 'I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was...' Those glorious bastards starting playing 'Gotta Catch 'Em All' over their loudspeaker as they rolled down the boardwalk! Everyone started cheering and hooting and hollering. People were high-fiving. It was truly amazing. It put me in such a good mood that the event's warm glow is still resonating within me hours later."
9 Helping with PTSD
Many of the brave men and women that have served in the military are plagued with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). But some are finding relief though Pokémon GO, like reddit user HikerKy: "I am a 100% disabled vet. I have PTSD, for the last 3 years I have allowed my avoidance symptoms to consume my life. Much like the post I saw floating around earlier, leaving our basement apartment was an absolute chore, one which I avoided at all costs. A few months ago we were deciding if we should renew our lease for another year. We struggled with the decision but ultimately decided that if we stayed nothing was likely to change, and we desperately need change! We didn't know where to move, and after a lot of research ultimately decided to buy an RV and scout out our potential moving locations for the rest of the year. We have been doing this for a month when the app came out. Both my wife and I played Pokémon since the first generation came out when we were children. It's one of the many things we bonded over while dating, so of course, we downloaded it about an hour after it came out. We have been addicted ever since. I actually WANT to get out and meet people again instead of feeling like a shaky ball of nerves! THIS IS AMAZING! After a lot of talking with the wife, and having people at the park beg/yell at me, we decided to start a Youtube channel about our Pokemon Journey around North America. I hope Pokémon GO has been as good for all of you as it has been for our little family. Even our dogs are happier with the increased walks they are getting! WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!" Follow HikerKy's adventures here.
8 Young heroes
You wouldn't think that a video game could have actually helped a woman escape an abusive relationship. Well, thanks to a couple of players it has! Here is reddit user Spurven's story: "Wow, I never thought that I would have a story like this. Me and a few friends were out catching Pokémon, as we normally do. When we were crossing the road, we heard a car speeding towards us, driving like a maniac. We ran over to the other side and tried to get a glimpse of the driver. Well, what we saw was something VERY DIFFERENT than a drunk driver. It was a large man driving with a small Asian woman. And, he just kept hitting her, holding his arms around her, tight! When he passed us we managed to get the license plate and called the police. Fast forward, this was not the first time this had happened to that woman, this was an ongoing thing. And now, it's over. Thanks to a couple of teenagers who managed to catch him in the act while they were completing their childhood dream!" Well done, guys!
7 The Po-Po Pokémon lovers
Police have been super accommodating to many Pokémon GO players. As reddit user Riodancer found out, some are even players themselves: "The church down the street from me is a Pokéstop and had a lure on it, so of course I had to pull in and see if I could find anything interesting. There were 2 cars when I pulled in, and 3 more joined us shortly after I got there. We're all sitting in our cars when I notice one of the town police cruisers slowly drive by on the street. The car did a U turn and pulled into the parking lot, shortly to be joined by another officer. Now, this is a small town, so I have no doubt seeing a bunch of cars in a church parking lot at 1030 on a Sunday was suspicious AF. The two cops went from car to car with their flashlights, talking a bit with each person before moving to the next car. Then it was my turn. A very bright flashlight shined in the car and the cop asked me what we/I were up to. I told him playing Pokémon and he couldn't believe it. He refused to believe me until I showed him my phone and explained about the lure. He called his buddy over and exclaimed "She's playing too!" They both chuckled a bit when I told them this was basically the epitome of my 12 year old self's dreams. Both of them were in their mid to late 20s so they understood, and then the first cop told me he just got to level 5!"
6 Real life Nurse Joy
To us, millennials, who grew up watching the shows, we all know that Nurse Joy (or Nurse Joys since there was more than one) was sweet, caring, always provided the best healing services to our beloved Pokémon and was not afraid to give you a tongue lashing if you weren't caring for your Pokémon. With many players pushing themselves to the limit, we can only wish that Nurse Joy was real. According to reddit user camsprouse our wishes may have come true: "So where I go to school, there is a place you can go where there are 4 Pokéstops within range. Naturally, quite a few people flock there and place lures and such. There was a girl there who had several charging packs (is that what you call them?) and was handing out snacks and water. She was sustaining us all so we could catch more Pokémon. It was awesome."
5 Bringing more and more people together
You might as well call Pokémon GO the friendship app because that is pretty much what it is. Here's another story of finding new friendship from reddit user YUNODUCK: "So, I was in South Padre Island and near the entrance there were 3 Pokéstops and a Red Gym. I was walking to the three Pokéstops and then I met these 3 guys; 2 dudes and 1 girl. They told me some tips about the game and they were all team blue (I'm team red). They were nice guys, I think their names were Kevin, Luis, and Ashley. We walked around to a CVS and they offered me a ride to my hotel cause we walked for a long ass time. I thanked them and got in the car. They drove me near my hotel and I got off. It's a simple story but I hope they see this post and remember that day, 'cause I had a blast with those guys, and this is one more positive testimony of how this game brings people together in ways that no app had done before! Love you Pokémon community! Never change!"
4 The best medicine
So many people are giving credit to Pokémon Go for helping their depression. But it has also led reddit user bxcbxx to the love of their life: "I have severe social anxiety and cannot even leave the house without hyperventilating, but thanks to Pokémon GO, I found, and am now dating, a beautiful woman who I met in the park. I am also able to talk to someone without collapsing in a sobbing heap. Just today I took her to the park I met her at (where there were a few groups of people and some lures deployed), and I sat her down at a bench and proposed to her. She said yes! Everyone in the park start applauding for me, the police drove by to see what was up and also joined in the party, and an old lady even showed up and also started playing Pokémon GO with us."
3 Feeding the hungry
Reddit user Nutty_'s story proves that Karma exists. Help people catch Pokémon and you will get free food: "So, my buddies and I (17m) were driving around playing the game, and our stomachs led us to a McDonald's in the next town over. We were the only ones there, and all three employees were playing as well. Lo and behold, the nearby Pokémon revealed a Pikachu! That was a first for all of us, so the three workers ran to the window to watch us search outside. Eventually, we went the right way and found our target. 3 out of 4 of us caught it, and we returned triumphant. Seeing the downcast looks on the employees faces dissolved our feelings of victory however, so one by one I took their phones and ran to the spot. Somehow I went 4 for 4 (including myself) and secured all of us a Pikachu. When it came time to order my meal, the manager just waved off my money and smiled. It's amazing how this game can bring people together."
2 Pokémon GO rescue team
It seems that this game keeps turning every day people into heroes. People just seem to be in the right place at the right time, just like reddit user noazrky: "Here we are, a group of about 10-15 people just letting two pokestops with lures do the work for us without having to move, when we hear that unmistakable sound of skin hitting the pavement, hard. We look over and all we see is a guy standing over a fallen bike, then one person starts running. Assuming they saw something I did not see, I ran also. When we arrived, we saw a guy down with blood flowing freely from his head. We all make sure not to touch the guy with a head injury. The other guy with him tells us that he will be okay, he was just drunk. We respond with a resounding, "No there is blood flowing from his head we are calling 911." I called 911 and after a few moments the dispatcher gets a few cops and an ambulance on the way. One guy leaned over and held his wrist checking for a pulse and was talking to the guy trying to keep him conscious. The guy started breathing harder but seemed less responsive. The ambulance soon arrived and relieved most of our worries as they started to handle the situation. Good thing we were there with the lures or no one would have called 911 and we probably would have been hearing about it in the paper soon after."
1 Keep on catching 'em all!
Reddit user Puff-n-Stuff's story is one of the most uplifting I've heard yet. It shows that this game can bring everyone happiness and has the power to bring people out of their shells: "I'm a caregiver to those with mental and/or physical handicaps. Today, a co-worker and myself were talking about PoGo and how she found a Squirtle in her salad before she came to work. Later on after everyone but one client (we say "clients," not "patients") is in bed, he starts playing with one of our phones. He's a quiet and sweet young man who only says a few garbled words as his form of communication, other than that he is quite mobile and capable. He soon sees the all-too-familiar Pokéball that opens the PoGo app. "Pock-mon!" he cheers. "I play?" Who could say no?! Not soon after, he is quietly yet excitedly prowling around the day-room and hallways of the group home, hunting down anything that pops up on the screen; with the help of an incense I activated for him. He caught a few Rattata ("Ratty!") and a Weedle. ("Wrrrm!"). He hasn't expressed interest in anything for a few months, so this is a big deal!"