I won’t be playing Pokemon Go when it launches in Singapore. In my opinion, it is another of those games with very meaningless objectives designed to get us all addicted.
If there’s one game I think was an utter waste of my time and regret playing, it definitely has to be MapleStory. Level up, level up, level up… and all that for what? It all seemed so meaningless. Why not use that same motivation and enthusiasm for leveling up in real life? Why not learn to turn life into a cool game and master it?
I don’t regret playing a whole bunch of other games though. I don’t think games are necessarily bad. They are when they either become a way for us to escape from real life, or when they start to distract us big time from our real life goals. But these games that I have played in the past (like Final Fantasy, which I love), I honestly think that they have enriched my life in some small way.
Yet I don’t allow these games to take control over my life. Rather, they are complementary to it. Even with playing games like Final Fantasy and the like, I do not waste time over finding a certain rare item of drop rate 0.0001% just so I can make a certain rare weapon, and just so I can see that “110% game completion.”
I still plan on playing many more games in future. I just don’t have as much time as I did back when I was a kid, with no life goals, ambitions, etc.. Today, I have priorities. I have a life purpose, and I know what I want out of life very clearly. Even then, I will still play sparingly. In 2015, I played and completed only 2 games (I did not bother with sides that were too time consuming). I have not played any yet this year, but I will probably complete another 2 at the end of 2016.
It is true that some games are good for bonding and community. I think LAN games are especially good for this. I get that a lot of people would say that of Pokemon Go as well. It even manages to get people’s ass outside of the house. But that is not the main objective of the game. Like MapleStory, there isn’t really any end goal for Pokemon Go. It is not a story that you can complete like Final Fantasy. Playing RPGs like Final Fantasy is a little like reading a good novel. I don’t think you are likely to regret that.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that the “end goal” of Pokemon Go is generally accepted to be “catching ’em all.” Which is intentionally designed to be extremely difficult and time consuming, of course. I think it is this very addiction that is dangerous, and that we should be weary of.
At best, let’s make Pokemon Go complementary to our lives. Chat up with that stranger and learn something about him/her. Stroll with a friend and catch Pokemon together. Hatch that egg by going for a run.
Now let’s all get clear on what it really means for us to live the good life. I think it would be safe to say that for most of us, we won’t be thinking on our deathbeds, “I wish I had spent more time trying to catch ’em all.”
Level up, my friends. In real life that is.