Saturday, July 16, 2016

Pokemon Go... Where?

I am going to start off this post by putting a simple fact out there that will give everyone a point of reference for where the ideas of this post is coming from.

 I am not a Pokemon fan on any level.

I remember when it first came out I received some promotional video in the mail for some reason telling me all about it. I was extremely under impressed by what I saw. I could not envision this being anything more than a total bomb of a concept. I mean taking the whole concept of cock fighting and  making it appealing to kids... If the kids even got into it, I foresaw some major protesting over the concept itself. The toys looked lame and I found the cartoon to be one of the most boring things to watch and the first movie was just poorly thought out on so many levels, and the video game just felt pointless.

So somehow it has been around nearly 20 years now and my basic opinions of it all has not changed.  I truly do not for one moment understand the overall appeal of Pokemon.

So last week Pokemon Go hits the world and everywhere you turn you're hearing about. People are getting outside and being active and a sense of community is forming over this new game to a franchise I have had no real interest in. I admit I was curious.

My girlfriend was also curious it turns out and she downloaded the game just a few days ago to check it out herself.  She came over last night and the two of us spent some time yesterday evening roaming around my neighborhood hunting Pokemon.  As a natural gamer, I quickly found myself getting into the mechanics of the game.

Today my boys got back from an out of state camping trip. Both of them had downloaded the game, but had not had much time to play it. I promised them that we would get out and do some Pokemon hunting this evening.

We ended up at a local park that had a lot of Pokestops. We roamed the park, along with at least two hundred others, catching Pokemon. The park was noticeably crowded, with a lot of people who were clearly having fun and being social. We ran into friends and had polite, friendly exchanges with strangers as well as enjoyed walking around as a family.

So my whole experience with this game has been highly positive on every level.

On Facebook I keep seeing memes mocking those who play Pokemon Go for some reason. There seems to be an attitude that "I'm not into this game and don't want to play it, so all those who are playing it should be made fun of." Where does that come from? I am not a Pokemon fan, yet I have never put down those who enjoy the franchise for their enjoyment of it.  And even before I played the game, I had already seen the evidence of all the beneficial aspects that the game was promoting.  Even if I had not gotten into playing the game, there was no denying the positive influence the game is having on many levels. This is clearly the kind of thing we as a society should be promoting. Yet somehow we still get stuck with individuals who have to take that extra step to be difficult for no good reason. If you're not into such a game, then don't play it. There is no need to put others down for enjoying it when it actually is doing no harm, while doing a lot of good.

While I am still not a fan of a franchise as a whole, I will say that I have been enjoying Pokemon Go.  I do plan to play it as I can. My money is on us seeing dozens of the socially interacting games like it coming out over the next year and that there will be a evolution of this style of game taking over, making us more active with each other. I do recommend everyone at least give it a try and see if its their thing or not. If it doesn't draw you in, it was free and uses the phone you already have, so it is not going to cost you anything but some time to find out.  And if you do get interested in it, then there's a good chance you'll get more exercise and meet some neighbors.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Ghostbusters Reboot Has "Ruined My Childhood"?

It seems that Sci-Fi fans are often the most troubled people on the planet.  The Red Wedding from Game of Thrones destroyed their lives. We had the creators of South Park claim that Indian Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull left them feeling 'raped'. And now without the movie even having made it to theaters, the new Ghostbusters reboot has already gone and in some incredible twist of time travel, ruined people's childhood. Now that is a truly powerful movie.

So far for the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters, due to hit theater in the near future, all we have had is a couple of trailers. Yet even before that, just because it was announced that the reboot would feature an all female team, the 'fans' came out in mass numbers to claim how awful it was going to be and  started the clams that their childhoods were ruined.

WTF is wrong with these people? Are we such a messed up misogynist society? Oh no, we can't have women entertain us...

And this was all started without any knowledge of story or even having seen one piece of actual film. After the trailers finally showed up the BS just seemed to keep pouring in. I watched a review of the trailers that seemed to ya 'I ain't about to give this movie a chance because it isn't the same cast as the classics.

Once more, WTF is wrong with these people?

Nothing in the trailers has turned me off from the reboot. In fact it looks like they might have made a few improvements on the origins of the team, as the original movie was a little awkward in that area.

But how does the idea that you are going to dislike a movie that has not been released yet, ruin your childhood? Even if it sucks, there has so be something seriously wrong with you if that somehow destroy the joy you had as a child over the original movie. The Star Wars prequels and the mistakes made in the Special Editions did not ruin my enjoyment of the classic trilogy or have any effect what-so-ever regarding my childhood. I actually felt the creators of South Park were over reacting to Indy 4 in a truly offensive way.  Was it as good as the original? No. It has its flaws and weaknesses, but I personally find it more enjoyable  than The Temple of Doom, which was filled with flaws add poorly thought out concepts. Never would I use the word 'raped' to describe my disappointment with such films.

Chances are the Ghostbusters reboot will not be ass good as the original, but that does not mean it will be a bad movie. Ghostbusters is one of those truly unique films experiences that can never be recaptured. We need to stop trying to get that same feeling we had the first time we saw the film, a that is just not going to happen. Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark are the same type of film, and none of the equals will ever live up to the originals.  Empire may be the better movie, but the impact of seeing it was not the same as the original Star Wars.

It is also clear that we as a society need to grow up. I find it hard to believe that there is such a over powering misogynist prevalent in our culture after all this time, but it is there and it is an insult to the rest of us.  A-holes need to stop claiming their childhood is ruined just because they are unable to deal with reality.

It is also a commentary on just how caught up in fictional universes people get. Having an emotional reaction to a death in a move of TV show is good.  Claimed your life is ruined because you don't like the way a story goes or a remake has made changes you dislike, well that seems to suggest a more serious problem. While I love entertainment, I am able to separate reality from fiction and not let my feeling about fiction mess with my real life.

And I will finish by saying some people are just assholes and want to make big deals about everything for attention. They are best left alone and ignored.