When you finally succumb to Pokemon Go

I originally ignored this whole thing, because I have a slightly addictive personality and I knew that it would suck me down a rabbit hole and I have a job and family and I don’t think they have Pokemon rehab set up yet if I got in too deep. But I convinced myself that I needed to at least experience it for a day or two, just to see. I like to be a part of things. I needed a blog topic. Rabbit hole descended.

It’s fun, guys. It took me a little while to get the hang of it, but it adds a little excitement to my day, particularly my afternoon walk and public transportation excursions. Between my Fitbit and this app, I don’t think I can justify walking without imaginary technology-based rewards ever again.

I’m not going to explain the how and why of the app, other blogs have done that already, and better. Here’s what you need to know about jumping into it in Ottawa:

Downtown is hopping. Pokestops, lures (basically traps for Pokemon), and gyms abound. Some locations are pretty random, most make sense. And yes, there is a gym smack dab on Parliament Hill. There is little doubt in my mind that at least a few MPs are battling each other. 

I went to Confederation Park at lunch (drawn by the promise of many Pokestops and lures), and it seems like it’s the place to be. It was a beautiful day, so it would have been busy no matter what. But everyone had the trademark body language that is a dead giveaway. If you had absolutely no idea what was going on, you’d think there was a Tinder meetup or something, something to explain all of these young professionals with amused but also slightly sheepish expressions.

I am not single, but if I was, this would be a veritable goldmine. This gets you talking to people, nice people, for the most part. A gentleman in a suit saw my pokestance going on, and happily quipped in passing that there was a Jynx around the corner. 

Look, I know Pokemon Go is easy to shit on. I joined a hoard of business-casual-dressed professionals stomping around the downtown core of a capital city, looking for imaginary critters. My self-awareness is off the charts. But Ottawa’s critics also like to pick at its inability to have spontaneous fun (see: tshirt-gate, see: lemonade-gate), so if you want to see that stereotype turned on its head: may I suggest Confederation Park at around 12:30 on a weekday.