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GMOD - Go or Stop and Think by SecminourTheThird GMOD - Go or Stop and Think by SecminourTheThird
So. Here I am posting to this account again. Unexpected, probably. It's also unusual because instead of just a usual silly image, this is me thinking aloud here and letting any one of you who are knowledgeable on the matter to comment on my thoughts. The topic? Pokemon GO.

Now, I'm quite a Pokemon fan. I like all the generations, before anyone goes saying things. I'm not usually one to complain about things. I just wanna air my thoughts here; from what I've looked up, in the smart device-bound Pokemon GO, you travel around physical space in the real world to catch Pokemon. It's like you're an el primo IRL Pokemon Trainer, and you just need to look through the magical filter that is your phone to be able to see the Pokemon and catch them. Gets up the amount of physical activity, also has caused some mishaps and revelations. Lotta people love it. You can also evidently take on Pokemon Gyms located in places, and join one of three factions. So why am I bringing this up? Well, here's why.

As excited or unexcited many people may be about the game, I'm not getting a full enough appeal about it to where I'd be interested in the sort of thing. No, I don't have anything against physical outdoor activity, nor would I even play the game as I don't have a mobile of any kind. But I feel it's missing a great bit of personal factor to it that would make it more endearing. The process as I know it;

1) Travel in physical space to catch Pokemon
2) Try to avoid getting into danger or restricted areas while doing so
3) Throw a million Pokeballs catching Pokemon every place you go.
4) Run out of Pokeballs and go get more from a Poke stop.
5) Battle in gyms. 
6) Join a faction.
7) Repeat.

That's the basic Pokemon trainer procedure, but is there anything else after that? As far as I know, there's no final Pokemon league you could conquer to enter the Hall of Fame. There are no rewards outside the main gameplay experience itself. You can give your caught Pokemon snappy little names. You can raise eggs. Seems a bit hollow; feels like it's missing a more personal factor. Think back to Generation 4, more particularly in Heart Gold and Soul Silver; you had the Following Pokemon mechanic, where the first Pokemon in your party would follow behind you in the field. That was present for only those two games, and only after made small isolated re-appearances, at most in one building in Black 2/White 2. That was a nice mechanic which has never really made a prevalent return as of yet. Not even any hint of it in the upcoming Sun and Moon. Something else that likely will reoccur in Sun and Moon, however, is Pokemon-Amie, another nice feature. Being able to get up and close with your Pokemon through your 3DS screen, where you could pet them (giving mixed results depending on the Pokemon chosen and such), shove cupcakes in their faces and play minigames while they stood in the background doing their thing. Following Pokemon and Pokemon-Amie, both fairly nifty and personal-feeling mechanics; so, why, as far as I know, does Pokemon GO not have these features in it?

Now, I'm just rambling here, you can just take everything I'm saying here with a grain of salt and ignore it completely. But, looking at the game and understanding it as much as I can, there's the general appeal, but then there's not much more to make it feel personal to the player. Yes, you could say that catching Pokemon in your own real-life town might qualify for that desire. But if you can't do much more with these Pokemon other than catching them and battling gyms with them, is it really all that close to the player? I mean, fair deal, that's generally the case with the majority of the main games, that there wasn't much direct interaction with your caught Pokemon. But, with all the technological advances going on, couldn't Nintendo take those extra steps to make it feel extra-special when you caught a Pokemon? Not only can you battle a gym with that Totodile you caught, but you could also digitally toss a ball for it to run after and throw back to you. You could share some sweet treats with the Staravia you caught at the park. You could even sit on the side of a hill with your recently-caught Snivy and jam out together to music saved to your phone or something. Just, those extra steps to bring the wonder all the way back home.

I am aware that at this point, the game has only Generation 1 pokemon. Potential of future generations coming in the future. So at this point the Pokemon I chose to mention in the last paragraph aren't all applicable yet. Not that it matters, I was just picking some random nice ones. But, back to my general point, there's not as much reward to the player personally for playing the game. You can catch Pokemon, but you can't do much else with them other than name them and challenge gyms with them. And then the gyms. You can get ownership of a gym for your team, but does that really do much for you other than the fact that you've established your team's dominance over that particular gym? 

The game is still fresh out the gate, so maybe in the future some of these things I've talked about could happen. Only time will tell. Maybe someone reading this blurb of mine will send in the ideas to Nintendo, and they'll consider it then. It could happen. And it's a moot point that I'm talking about it anyways, since I do not have the means to play it, nor do I want to. Perfectly fine with having this Giratina figure on my desk and using Pokemon-Amie to shove cupcakes down Rayquaza's throat. But I just thought I'd blabber on about it for a bit. Again, you can just take everything I've said here with a grain of salt if you wish. It's not important. Just some food for thought.

TL;DR Pokemon GO needs to let players show more love and affection for their pokermans instead of just having them fling them either back into battle or back to the professor. As a person who doesn't play the game nor has an interest to, that would at least make the countless internet posts about it more interesting. 

All right. Good talk? Good talk. Whether or not you suffered through me thinking aloud here, y'all have a good day, then.

EDIT: I've heard talk of them adding some version of following Pokemon to the app. So, points to them for that.

And if you're going to ask why I didn't put this in a journal, I just didn't want to. Plus, this way you also get a little bonus image alongside my rambling.
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Submitted on
July 18, 2016
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