LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Pokémon Go party a success in Yarmouth

Published on July 27, 2016

Pokémon Go players came out to the Cape Forchu Lighthouse for a Pokémon Go party.

©Photo courtesy Nick Doucet

YARMOUTH – I want to thank everybody who came to the Cape Forchu Lighthouse in Yarmouth for the 1st local Pokémon Go Party.

The event was a huge success and I can't wait for the next one on Aug. 13 (rain Date Aug. 14). I am well into preparations for the next event, and have been given so many good ideas on how to make it better.

Pokémon Go is an Augmented Reality (AR for short) video game. Technology has allowed us to play a virtual video game in the real world, using real GPS coordinates. The game uses Google Maps to tell itself where we are located in the real world. It takes into account every data point you can think of related to location (landmarks, surroundings, altitude, and even what country we are in) and provides us with a game to play.

The Cape Forchu Lighthouse is the best known location in the tri-county area. It's a provincial landmark with rock, grass, ocean view and slightly elevated altitude. You don't need to know what a Pokémon is to understand this.

Pokémon has been a part of my life for 20 years and I am thrilled to see so many people finding out how much fun it can be. I can fondly remember being that 10-year-old kid dreaming about hoping to be a Pokémon Trainer off on an adventure, only to be crushed on my 10th birthday when waking up to realize it wasn't a reality. Over the years I never really "grew out of it" and stayed a fan of the series into adulthood. I even traveled to the Pokémon National Championships (yes, that is a thing) in Toronto, Ontario for a mini vacation two years ago. I had an absolute blast and remained a part of that community this day.

The majority of people who are playing Pokémon Go are in the 25-34 year old age bracket (aka Millennials). It is our generation that grew up with the original series, and it shows. There are some people out there (more so the Baby Boomers I have talked too) that think this is a negative thing in society. To those people I say you are missing the main point.

The game is designed to get you active and to visit your own community. Our generation has been subjected to more juvenoia about our laziness in society, due to technology. I see it and hear it every single day. We now have a mainstream method of using this same technology to get us active within our own community. I have seen people of all ages playing the game, and it's only a matter of time that we will be reaping major benefits that come from it.

We have already seen benefits locally of hosting the 1st Pokémon Go Party at the Cape Forchu Lighthouse. Many local residents visited our beautiful landmark, some for the very first time. I have already seen the personal benefits myself, of walking more then 50 kms over a 10-day period (the most in my life). I have also visited areas I have never seen before in my 27 years living in Yarmouth. Anybody know who John Patch is? I finally do!

I have talked to one mother who witnessed her 14-year-old overweight son wanting to go for a 10 km walk with her, so he can advance in the game. Those are good stories. Mainstream media (and some negative people) will only want to talk about the bad ones. Don't listen to them. Be positive and when you see somebody playing Pokémon Go (or any other AR game) ask them: "How much have you walked since you started playing?" I am sure the results will shock you.

To all of my fellow Pokémon Trainers out there: Not everybody can be the very best, and no one ever was. Training and working hard outside of Pokémon will create more joy and happiness in life then you will ever imagine. That's what I learned in 20 years playing Pokémon and I hope you do too. Go catch 'em all!


Current Pokemon Trainer and Future Pokemon Master

Nick Doucet