Pokémon Go launched earlier this week and already I am declaring it will end society, or save it. I don’t know yet but it’s definitely one or the other.
For those who don’t know, Pokémon Go is a new app which allows players to play a new Pokémon game on their phones. What’s different is that players now collect Pokémon out in the real world. In order to play, you have to actually get up and walk around town to find Pokémon, and go into stores to “buy” in game items. You could be walking down the street and through your phone see one of the 150 creatures standing in your neighborhood, and you can capture the virtual animal. This idea intrigues me. Players have to get up and explore their city, walk for miles to complete objectives, and get to meet others in the real world through special events. I’ll admit while I played the first Pokémon games, I really don’t keep up with the Pokémon series and didn’t think I’d download the app. But then it started breaking my idea of what a game could do in such a short time. Many of the great features are causing tons of problems around the world. People are starting to loiter and trespass on private property looking for Pokémon. A police station in Australia had to start warning citizens to stop trying to catch Sandshrews that are appearing in their offices. There was also the story about the person who went down to a river looking for water Pokémon, but instead she found a dead body. What? I have to download this game now!!! On my test drive, I didn’t find any dead bodies but I found myself wanting to wander down weird unfamiliar streets and for the first time in my life wanting to go to the Los Angeles River (which is basically a ditch). Many players are training while driving – in fact there are already reports of car crashes caused by players of the app. Guys, don’t Pokémon and drive!!! But also don’t be like the 26 year old in Massachusetts who caused a wreck because he stopped his car in the middle of the highway to catch a Pikachu. My advice, do what I did: toss your phone to your girlfriend in the passenger seat and say, “Hey baby, there’s a Cubone to the right of us can you catch it for me.”
It ended up getting away, I guess we can’t all be master trainers on the first day, at least she caught me that Graveler earlier.
See what I mean? It might break this world. I mean, police have started using the app just to know where people are flocking to in town. But, like I mentioned there are positives. People in LA are walking for once instead of driving. I discovered a new walking path, and in the right light, I guess the story of the 19 year old finding the dead body could be positive, maybe it helped solved a missing person case. These are stories all within four days of the app’s launch. I’m curious what the next stories will contain. In any case, stay safe trainers.
Go Team Blue!
Our society is obsessed with zombies. There are multiple zombie based tv shows, films, video games, board games, there are even zombie themed restaurants (Because apparently eating a regular hamburger at a regular hamburger shop wasn’t good enough for you). I’m not saying of there are a couple of examples I am saying there is a hoard of examples, a hoard that is slowly surrounded us in a barn while we were all too busy interneting and swiping right. There were over 50 zombie movie last year! There were over 20 zombie board games that came out last year. Most people don’t even know that 20 board games come out in a year, much less with the same theme. Hell, we like zombies so much we add it to intellectual properties that normally don’t have zombies. I’m looking at you Pride and Prejudice.
Zombies are popular, right? So why do people keep telling me how much they hate them? People keep complaining about how there are too many things with zombies, which I agree with, but obviously people must me loving these brain eater or there wouldn’t be so many products on the market. But people insist they hate them. Or at the very least, people will tell me, “Oh I don’t normally like zombies, but this one is different,” or, “This is good because it’s about the people and not the zombies.”
And I think that statement might annoy me more than anything else. “It’s all about the people.” I thought that was the whole reason we started using zombies. Zombies don’t have care or emotion unlike vampires or witches, zombies exist as a mindless threat so you can focus more on the survivors. Just look at a film like Night of the Living Dead, wether it was intentional or not, Ben being a black man was a very important part of the film, even more important, in my opinion, when he is shot in the end of the film. 28 Days Later has the King Kong ending where we are the monsters (To be fair the zombie are also monsters too).
So I guess my geek advice is: Don’t worry if you like something with zombies. You don’t have to qualify it with, “I normally don’t like zombie thing but…” With any medium and genre there is a good chance that some of it will be good and some will be bad, some pointless (I’m looking at you Organ Trail) The thing you should avoid is being so open about your hate for zombies. This year the card game I Hate Zombies is coming out. Why? If you hate zombies why did you make a zombie game? I know it’s because you like zombies but still want to appear to be like the cool kids that hate zombies, or you think your consumers are mindless creature that only want one thing… brains, I mean zombie things.
Like most geeks I love making top ten lists and reading other people’s “top tens”. Unfortunately I think that some of us nerds do a poor job with it, because they fall victim to the “Top Ten Overfill”. This is where a geek loves a series so much that they fill their top ten list with superfluous information. For instance if a lister likes Lord of the Rings that’s ok with me, but you don’t have to fill your entire list with all three movies. If your top ten contains three movies from the same series you’re doing wrong. Seriously. Top ten lists are about this delicate balance of trying to include many things you like without filling them up with redundant information. Nobody would like it if I put six Wes Anderson movies in a top ten list even if the list was “Top Ten movies with striking color palettes and French music”
I have a friend and I know his top 13 favorite movies by heart: 1-6 are the six Star Wars films (yes prequels too), 7-9 the three Lord of the Rings movies, and 10-13 the four Indiana Jones movies (yes this means he likes Crystal Skull more than any other non LotR, Star Wars, or Indy flick).
Now I know what you’re thinking. Couldn’t he just say his number 1 is Star Wars, number 2 is Lord of the Rings, number 3 is Indiana Jones, and then his number 4 is his 4th favorite movie (I believe it’s Braveheart, but I honestly can’t remember for sure because too much of my memory is spent trying to remember the order of his favorite Star Wars films). It’s a good idea, but I don’t like that either. Just pick one. If I ask what’s your favorite movie and you say Star Wars, I don’t know what to think. Is Empire his favorite or does he like Speeder bikes and Ewoks of Return of the Jedi? So just say my favorite movie is Star Wars: A New Hope, it’s a specific answer but I can assume you like other Star Wars movies. Once again, I’m not going to put six Wes Anderson movies in my Top Ten, but if I say Rushmore is my favorite movie, you can probably assume I like other Wes Anderson movies or at least I give you a follow up question.
“Do you like other Wes Anderson films?”
“Yes! I’ve really got a thing for rich color palettes and old songs I can’t sing along to!”
So next time I ask you what your favorite movie is and you say Star Wars, don’t be surprised if I answer with: “My favorite movie is Wes Anderson.”
It seems that the Michael Bay produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be getting a sequel so I thought it would be worthwhile to take about a little geek etiquette.
If you are feeling blue about your classic cartoon being turned into a “awful film” then just remember. Maybe one day there will be a good Turtles movie. After all, Joel Schumacher made Batman and Robin, but we later got The Dark Knight. If the characters are good we’ll eventually get a good movie. But there is something you can do right now: vote with your dollars.
I cannot stress the importance of voting with your dollars. If you see something that you are skeptical about don’t see it in theaters. Don’t give me that whole, “Well you never know if you are going to like something until you see it” No, stop it, your wrong. But if you are REALLY curious just wait. Just wait until you get the chance to see for free, because if you give money to it, it will continue. I worked on the movie and feel I have every right to see it without judgement, but I just don’t see myself going through with it and seeing it. I know I will never convince everyone to refrain from the movie so I have another solution. Buy a ticket to another movie you liked. If I decide that I am too curious, and that I must see turtles I will simply vote with my dollars. I will buy a ticket for a movie I already saw and liked and then sneak into the movie I don’t want to reward. I will buy a ticket for Guardians of the Galaxy or Boyhood (movies I already paid money to see, but want to support more) and then I can sneak into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Thus seeing the movie, but not giving the people responsible any money for a sequel. Currently I’m trying to coin this act, I don’t know like “Double Dollar Ditching” or “Side Screening” I don’t know I’ll think of something later. If you think of something let me know.
So I don’t know, go see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, just buy a ticket to something else.
Tomorrow is May 4th, otherwise known as Star Wars day, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to talk about some geek etiquette.
My fellow geeks, remember to cut down on superfluous statements when talking to others with the same interests as you. For instance, the statement: “I like Star Wars, but you know, only the original trilogy,” contains some superfluous information. When you mention that you like Star Wars, it is unnecessary to mention that you are not a fan of the prequels. When you say that you like Star Wars, I automatically assume you mean that you are a fan of Episodes IV-VI and nothing else. I am sick and tired of hearing geeks quickly noting that their fandom is corrupted out of fear that others might assume they like the obviously inferior parts of it. From now on, just say, “I like Star Wars,” we’ll know what you mean. The same goes for The Simpsons and Lost, When you tell us that you like it, you don’t need to mention, “Only old school Simpsons, before it got lame,” or “Yeah, Lost was great, I mean, until the ending”.
I understand that some people like the first three Star Wars or the new seasons of The Simpsons, but they are they outliers and they should be the ones who have to specify. For example: “I like The Simpsons, even the new ones!” or “I love Star Wars, ALL OF THEM, I am going to like the J.J. Abrams movies regardless, and given the chance I’d make out with Jar Jar on Endor.”
May the fourth be with you.