Pokemon Go has conquered the globe. But has it conquered your heart?
Stage One: sarcastic skepticism
What the hell? Nin-fuckin' "mobile is teh debbil" Tendo is working on a Pokemon-skinned Ingress, that location-tracking Google game played by weirdoes hanging out in parks? What a joke. Real gamers don't play on their phones and they don't like to go outside.
Wait, Nintendo forked out $30 million for it and Niantic is leaving Google? These are the last desperate flailings of a dying dinosaur. RIP Nintendo.
Stage Two: desperate longing
I can't fucking believe this game is out in fucking Australia, AKA the ass end of the universe, and not here in my own gloriously important home town. Don't give me that "soft launch" bullshit. What could be a better start for a game whose servers fall over whenever someone spots a Pikachu than to unleash it on the full global audience at once? Niantic can get rogered, I'm side-loading this shit.
Shitting hell, I bricked my phone and my identity has been stolen.
Stage Three: boredom
I am so tired of people posting about Pokemon fucking Go. Poke-this, Poke-that. We get it: you're an immature baby who wants to ignore REAL LIFE while you give away all your private data to a big corporation in exchange for the chance to run around looking like an idiot with your eyes glued to the screen like some sort of human sheep.
Stop falling into caves and driving your cars into trees and getting mugged for a stupid free-to-play game. I am so embarrassed for you all. I can't believe you'd spend any time or money on this. You've been played like violins, sucking at the media's teat. That mixed simile-metaphor combo probably needs some work but the point is: you are stupid for liking this thing and I am a superior being because I do not. Case closed.
Stage Four: eternal love
HOLY SHIT IT'S FINALLY OUT and there was a Charmander like RIGHT IN MY LIVING ROOM ahhh this is so adorable and charming. I went walking immediately and ran into a bunch of other trainers, and we all recognised each other and waved and laughed and felt a genuine human connection over our shared activity. I took my phone to the bar and the barman kept throwing down lures so the room was really packed. I caught a rare and the pizza place next door gave me a $2 discount and a free soda when I showed the chick at the till.
I have done more exercise and learned more about my town in this past day than in the previous year. I keep seeing all these hilarious signs and jokes and stuff around town, and I'm fascinated by all these headlines about how Pokemon Go brings people together. I need to go tweet the same six things everyone is tweeting about this like, immediately.
Stage Five: technical frustration
Okay, so, I put down a lure and the servers immediately crashed. Coincidence? I think not. I can't believe how flaky this thing is. I took time off work and took a bus across town because someone Facebooked about a rare sighting, and when I got there the servers were down so I wasted a shit ton of time and energy for nothing! Like obviously this is a free game designed for casual use rather than obsessive full-time focus and whatever but holy hell: this is the year 2016! I'm really fucking mad about this and would rather focus it on Niantic and Nintendo than myself for investing so much in this meaningless activity.
Also I ran out of mobile data for the month and this shit is draining my phone battery like gaaaaaaaaah. AND there are almost no Pokestops near where I live - in a retirement village in the outer suburbs of a tiny rural city with almost no mobile reception.
Stage Six: forgiveness
I can't stay mad at you. I just conquered another gym! TEAM MYSTICCCCCCCC
Stage Seven: 2047 AD
Pokemon Go has replaced the political and economic systems of the majority of nations. Pokecitizens spend their days performing charitable and environmental works in service of society, in exchange for the new Pokecurrency, which has replaced meaningless material consumerism with an exchange system valuing education, kindness and progress. Nintendo has made healthcare universal, freed the human mind from the shackles of inauthentic existence and erased systemic inequality by forging unbreakable human bonds.
In their poverty-stricken, war-torn holdouts, angry Internet denizens continue to post badly-spelled tirades suggesting nobody above the age of 12 should be charmed by imagination.