Pokemon Go!

Many of you are aware that I was accepted to graduate school that I will be attending in January after I graduate from BYU in December, but something that you might not be aware of is what I wrote my graduate paper on. The answer: video games.

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That might sound a little odd because you probably don’t really see me as a ‘video game person’ and to be honest I would not necessarily classify myself as one either. However, I have been surrounded by video games my entire life. My step-dad is a big x-box person and I would often watch him play. My dad is a big nintendo person and much of our time together was playing nintendo games. And, along with that, one of my favorite activities as a child was to go to the arcade.

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Although, I was never obsessed with video games. However, through my experiences I have seen the positives and negatives that video games have brought to my life and the lives of others–most of my experiences being positive. Of course, everything should be done with moderation…

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…but I am here to say that video games are generally good. I explain in more detail this topic in my essay, so if one so desires to read it, just send me a message! However, the important topic that I want to bring up with this is what you all have been waiting for . . . POKEMON GO!

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Pokemon Go is the prime example of what my paper was about: Community Building Through Interactive Gaming. Yesterday my roommate and I decided that it was time for us to go on a Pokemon hunt together and we made our way to the Provo library to meet a friend to go on this adventure with. As we arrived at the library we met a few people that were also hunting Pokemon. Then those few people turned into 10 then to 20 then to nearly 50 people. There were literally people everywhere!

You would hear people yell, “There’s a Bulbasaur!”or “Someone used another lure!” Before I knew it, I spent three hours with these people that I had never met before laughing and catching Pokemon. I even ran into people I knew and people that I would have never expected to see playing this little app. People were answering questions for each other and trying to help as much as possible. Standing there as a little level 4, there were level 13 people cheering me on, asking me to join their teams.

I couldn’t believe the community that I was surrounded by. Everyone was so lovely to each other and happy to have that community. If that is not something that is charitable and of good report, then I don’t know what is.

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I think that we too often make assumptions about people and motives. Nobody at the library that night cared about the mistakes that you made in the past, your ethnicity, your gender, your style choice, or any of that. All they cared about was that you were there to play this game with them and they were happy that you were there with them. And that happened because of a video game!

But this could happen with anything if we all are sure to be more mindful. Instead of automatically judging a person, first try to find something that you have in common. You can’t help but love someone that is similar to you in some way, and we all really aren’t that different. So, let’s all take a moment and love each other.

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You’re a lovely. Don’t judge a book by its cover, and take a moment to really look and understand that video games can be a positive influence on you and the lives of your children because of the grand community that it creates that is inclusive and gives a voice to the otherwise voiceless or forgotten.

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