FLASH! PETA SHUTS DOWN POKEMON GO EVENTS IN PORTLAND, OREGON!

Pokemon Go BallThe controversial organization, PETA (Protection for Equivalent Theoretical Animals), has managed to rally citizen support to protest and block several Pokémon Go events scheduled in Portland, Oregon, on the basis that monsters qualify as “theoretical animals” and that Seekers, in pursuit of points, status and otherwise basic irrational and illogical storytelling opportunities, will resort to irrational, illogical and virtual fantasy activities as they prey on innocent virtual creatures unable to defend themselves.

LET OUR POKEMON GO GO!   jail pokemon

Signs of Pokémon Go monsters contained in squalid cages and fed items with virtually no substance are popping up everywhere. Worse, in a demonstration of how low seekers will fall, “monster-fights” reminiscent of the dog fights that got old basketball players almost arrested have been seen in the back alleys of one of America’s greatest cities.  The conditions are perceived as horrible, with poor monsters gripping bars and crying out for their families.  In a worst-case situation, a baby monster was separated from its mother before it could flee its hunters.

pokemon#2Other groups attempting to capitalize on the event have even started a “slave labor” camp for captured monsters, selling them on Craig’s List for virtual bucks.  Enslaved monsters are expected to ensure harsh working conditions while captors and seekers seduced into this unsavory world go out in pursuit of even more monsters.  It’s an awful situation as wild and carefree monsters are struck down in the middle of their natural habitat, with little time to defend themselves from the “slaying ball” that is used to swipe them away.  As one concerned citizen reported, Pokémon Go monsters are even starting to show up in  historically human red light districts.  Poor PokemonRepublicans across the country are in an uproar as questions of equality for animals and citizens’ concern for these imaginary creatures takes priority over what they have long considered to be a more important agenda while Democrats are looking to expand universal health care programs to include Pokemom Go Monster Dads, Moms and kids alike.

GETTING EVEN

As the Pokémon Go phenomenon has exponentially accelerated in the last few days, pokemon fieldreports of Seekers getting creamed is also increasing, to include (most recently) a group in Salem, Oregon that found themselves standing in the middle of Liberty Street in the front of the firehouse, trying to climb up the fireman’s pole in search of an evasive and illusive creature.  Seems that Seekers may not be using a lot “upstairs” as they look for PokeStops and through Lures out to grab yet another poor, defenseless monster.  But, the monsters are starting to get creative and gang up on Seekers.

In yet another unreported incident, four ridiculously cute monsters threw their own “lure” out to catch a few unsuspecting Seekers.  Using the guise of a broken paw, one monster lay await in a green circle as the Seekers approached.  Just as the swipe of the ball was about to happen, three other monsters ran out and jumped on top of the Seekers, scaring the bejeezus out of them, causing them to lose their phone and of course, their corresponding identity. (Anyone looking for a Samsung XII should call the local authorities).   It’s only a matter of time before massive uprisings between man and beast lead us all to lock ourselves in our shelters and wait to see who wins.

RELEASE OUR POKEMON GO!

PETA, founded by M.N Sterious, an 84 year old member of the Portland community, is dedicated to the protection of virtual reality of any form.  M.N. Sterious planned and coordinated the Portland Pokémon Go blockade using age-old wisdom combined with helpful hints from Google search engine.  Demands for a release of all caged Pokémon Go monsters must be met before the blockades are removed.   As in all things fantastical, the PETA group has staged a virtual hunger strike with hopes to gain attention of those who are oblivious to this ridiculous condition.   It certainly grasped this author’s attention!

For more information on PETA, look no further.  You won’t find anything anyway.  Meanwhile, stay OFF THE STREETS, OUT OF TREES, AWAY FROM FIREHOUSES…oh yeah – all that advice assumes people are using their heads when playing this game.  That’s where we went wrong!

How to play Pokémon GO … at Work

When I first heard that a new Pokémon was released a few days ago, I was pumped to give it a try. Being a 90’s kid, I was an early adopter of the Pokémon series; I owned both the red and blue versions of the original game. I went straight to the Google Play app store and downloaded the new Pokémon GO immediately.

Rattata
Trying to catch Rattata in my office

I went through the basics, choosing my character’s clothing and style. After that there was a little bit of a tutorial about how to get started and then I was on my way. Almost immediately I saw a Bulbasaur on my screen. It was really cool seing the Pokémon on my screen in augmented reality. I saw Bulbasaur wondering around the grocery store as I shopped with my wife. I decided to try to catch him right away (I later found out that by holding out, you can actually choose between Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, or even a Pikachu with a little more patience). As soon as I saw the Bulbasaur, I kept tapping on the Poké Ball to throw at Bulbasaur. That didn’t work, so I tried holding the ball. At this point, a green circle formed around Bulbasaur and began shrinking, then getting larger, then shrinking again. This still did not throw the ball, but I knew I was onto something. Finally after tapping all over the screen (including on the ball and on Bulbasaur about 100 times each), I accidentally swiped the ball toward Bulbasaur. This resulted in a ground ball toss that fell well short of my first Pokémon. After several speed sensitive swipes, I finally made a toss that caught him. This sequence highlights my big frustration with Pokémon GO – the tutorials are seriously limited and make some picking up on some of the game play difficult to get the hang of.

The green circle shows the target to hit with the Poké Ball
The green circle shows the target to hit with the Poké Ball

After my first successful capture, I walked around the grocery store looking for new Pokémon to capture. This was a much more interesting way to go grocery shopping than my usual visits. I ran into a handful of Pokémon which I caught successfully. On a few occasions, the Pokémon would break free and I’d have to use another Poké Ball to try again. I soon realized that the green circle around Pokémon was showing the difficulty to catch the Pokémon; green means easy to catch, yellow is medium, and red is a difficult Pokémon to catch. The more difficult the Pokemon, the smaller you need to wait for the circle to get. However, the small the circle is, the more accurate the throw needs to be to capture the Pokemon. I found that if the Pokemon was green, it was easiest to throw when the circle is bigger because they would rarely break free and would also have a better chance of hitting the target.

GPS signal not found error
Glitch #1: “GPS signal not found” error

When I got to work the second day of having the app installed on my phone, I was excited to see that there was both a Gym and a Pokéstop at a park near my work. Pokéstops are places to get a few random items (ie: Poké Balls, eggs, etc.) and Gyms are places for players of levels 5+ to battle each other and try to capture and hold the Gym. Once a player has reached level 5, they must choose between one of three teams to join to battle against the others at the Gyms. My employer has recently completed a walking challenge in which the employees formed teams and competed to see which teams could rack up the most steps over a five-week period. With the spirit of the competition still going after the challenge had ended, people are still walking around the park in the middle of the day. This was a great excuse for me to get to play a little Pokémon GO at work while working on my fitness at work. I took an afternoon stroll and took my first shot at the Gym. I sent in my 93 CP (combat points) Pidgeotto against a 300+ CP Gengar. I lasted about 20 seconds in the matched but was clobbered. I need to work on leveling up my Pokémon before I step into the ring again. At least I have a nice distraction at work when I need to get away from my desk for a few minutes.

Glitch #2: Blank trainer
Glitch #2: Blank trainer

Though the gameplay has been captivating, if not somewhat addicting, there have been some rough spots. Glitches run rampant with the early release of Pokémon GO. It’s hard to play for more than 10 minutes without a glitch of some sort. The glitches range from slightly annoying to downright maddening. Every five minutes or so, the GPS will lose connection for several seconds, but usually comes back soon. On several occasions, my player has just disappeared for minutes at a time and I’m not able to interact with anything on the screen. There’s also been a number of times the servers have been jammed so much that I cannot login, including when I originally tried to sign up; it took me five tries to get a user set up. Then there’s also another glitch when the sign in screen cannot authenticate my password. This has happened for more than five minutes straight on three different occasions. Finally, there has been multiple times when I click on a Pokémon, Pokéstop or Gym and the game will not let me interact with those items. As fun as the game is, the glitches have gotten frustrating enough that it barely makes the game worth playing.

A Spearow landed on my dog’s head!
A Spearow landed on my dog’s head!

Overall, it’s been a fun and nostalgic way to get reacquainted with a childhood game. The glitches/underperformance of servers have outweighed the positives for me. I think after the game has some firmware updates and additional servers online, the game will be worth a second look. Pokémon GO reminds me of the Sour Patch Kids commercials. At first it can be so aggravating trying to log into the game that I felt like throwing my phone to the ground, but as soon as it started up I was excited to get moving and catch ‘em all!

For more ways to get through your work day, especially if you’ve given your 2 weeks notice, check out these great tips!

Pokémon GO – What is it??

So……what is Pokémon GO…..and who’s playing it?

I kept seeing posts on social media about people catching Pokémon.  I felt a little sad for these folks, as I thought the cards were making a come back and knew how much money could be “invested” in them, only to be cast aside for Yu-Go-Oh cards  in the future. Then, in some severe cases, Magic the Gathering.   Turns out it’s an app that was just released this last week that has already become insanely popular.

What the Hell Is ‘Pokemon GO’? A Short Explainer

I asked a couple people what it is and how it is played…these are the honest answers:

Capture 1 Capture 2 Capture

Words such as incense, revives, razz berries and of course Pokeballs are used. All said with straight faces.  A lot of the more dedicated players (or are they gamers??) that I spoke to about this phenomenon are in their early to mid-twenties. Man, woman or child are all equally attracted to this adventure. Lunch breaks are no longer for eating, but for trying to catch Magmar and Rattata.  Friday night drinking can be paired up with Pikachu.  Exercise with Entei (a 6’11” Volcano Pokémon)…..hope these things aren’t life size.

I couldn’t quite grasp the concept…..so I downloaded the app to experience the thrill first hand.  It is kind of entertaining, you get to pick your character’s clothing, right down to shoes and a backpack.  The most challenging part so far was finding a name that was still available.  I may have to watch one of the abundant tutorials to become an expert trainer.

Let the games begin 🙂