Stop judging me. I’m already judging myself enough. And I’m fine. Except that I’m surrounded by rats. The usual.

This is not a real post.  It’s a tiny bit of advice for people like me who have anxiety and depression and sometimes get trapped in their own homes because their brains are being assholes and it’s too people-y outside.  I’ve been talking about my own mental health issues for years and I’ve shared so many important things that help: medication, therapy, community, etc. but today I have something even more important to share.

Today I was at my shrink’s office and I told her that I’d found a new tool that’s seemed to help with my anxiety and agoraphobia and she was like, “Is it PokemonGo?” and I screamed “IT IS POKEMONGO!  WHAT THE FUCK?” and she was like, “What level are you?  Let’s trade tips.”  And then we did.  Because apparently this super embarrassing thing I was going to admit is helping lots of people because it sort of forces you to get out of the house to play and suddenly you’re at the park at midnight and there’s a live possum next to you.  That’s a bad example but it’s going to happen.  Get ready.

But it’s nice because my OCD makes me want to collect all of these invisible creatures and that means I end up in parks and in malls and on road rips and in places I would never normally go in a million years.  And then strangers who also never go out come up to you and say, “HEY DID YOU CATCH THAT BULBASAUR NEXT TO JAMBA JUICE?” and instead of running away from strangers and small talk you’re like, “OF COURSE I DID.  What am I, some kind of amateur?  And also, what’s with all the rats?”  Because seriously, what is with all the rats?  They’re everywhere and I’m always yelling “GO AWAY, INVISIBLE RATS.  I’M NOT YOUR MOMMY.”  Which gets stares from normal people but empathetic nods from other weirdos playing PokemonGo, and technically I was already freaking out the normal people, so not much has changed except that now I’m the middle of Macy’s while it’s happening.

Hanging with my posse. Apparently.
Hanging with my posse. Apparently.

This post would be much longer except that so many ridiculous things have happened to me while playing this ridiculous game that it turned from a blog post into a chapter in my next book.  But I still want you to know about it.  Because it’s awesome and makes you accidentally live life and walk dogs and take your kid hiking.  It’s distracting enough to ward off the pre-panic attacks that keep you from leaving your car and suddenly you’re playing a game with the rest of the world.  Also, you can rename all of the Pokemons.  (Pokemen?  Pokemi?  Whatever the plural is for things that don’t exist either way.)

Did you know you can rename the monsters? BECAUSE YOU CAN.
Long live Pony Danza.

Also, Victor loves it too.  And by “loves it” I mean that he’s getting used to me pretending to take a picture of him to capture how amazing he is even though he now realizes I’m really just catching nonexistent animals that have landed near him.

Secretly he love it. Just...really, really secretly.
Secretly he love it. Just…really, really secretly.

Sure, some will say that it brings you away from real life because you’re staring at a screen but once you’ve fallen into a few canals (2 is my record) you learn to stick your phone in your pocket and just pull it out when it yells that invisible monsters are near.  Like a totally normal person.  Almost.  Close enough.

You’re welcome.

Let’s play.

267 thoughts on “Stop judging me. I’m already judging myself enough. And I’m fine. Except that I’m surrounded by rats. The usual.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Wow I never thought of Pokémon GO being helpful for agoraphobia, I see so many people out and about playing and getting exercise and fresh air.

  2. My depression and anxiety have both been acting up recently. I know some of the reasons, but not all. Is it just me, or is there something in the air?

    (Crazy full moon? You’re not alone. ~ Jenny)

  3. YES! I’m sure there are other reasons I’m coming out of a gloomy time, but Pokemon Go gets some credit here. I’ve talked with strangers, hell, I even look forward being surrounded by people all playing this game, because it is so damn cool!

  4. I’ve resisted up until now… I’m intrigued… My brain is a douchebag and it’s FAR too people-y out there.

  5. At least you are surrounded by Rats. You can make rats cute if necessary. I seem to be surrounded by Worms. All of my Pokemon hunting as been either at home or at work. I haven’t ventured out in the wild yet. Maybe it will help this stupid depression/anxiety I have been suffering as of late.

  6. I hate to jump on the Pokemon bandwagon, but I have to admit I’m a bit curious . . . plus, I’m lazy and it might get me moving!

  7. Darlin’, I hear you. I do not have the same challenges you do, but Pokemon Go has now become something my whole family can do together, as long as I am willing to hand my phone around. Yesterday, hubby and my birthday girl twins took my phone to the Seattle Aquarium and caught lots of water-type Pokemon, and also a Ponyta, which I’d never seen anywhere near my house. They enjoyed it – even the twin who resented me sending the phone along, because it was stupid and was going to be distracting. So. Ha!

  8. I’m utterly obsessed. The boyfriend likes it because I get to collect ALL THE THINGS, and I’m not cluttering up our house. Exciting perk: My wedding venue? Full of ponytas!

  9. I love it! I recommend PokemonGo to all of my therapy clients- such a fantastic game for working through social anxiety, etc! It’s the best, best, best way to work with my kid clients- we go hunting and talk.

  10. omg. I fucking love you. And this. And yes. It so has been an amazing thing for people who are like – I cannot get out of my head sometimes!!!! I love it. It’s fun. And I love it. YAY FOR POKEMON GO!!! And you. Always you.

  11. I’ve got friends who were really having fun with it so I started playing, and I’ve been surprised at how much I’m enjoying it. Further, it’s a great excuse to get me out of the house at lunch hour (I work a fairly traditional office job from my home and have a bad habit of not getting out enough).

  12. I don’t see it as forcing me to go out. I see it as giving me an incentive to go out. Big difference. But yeah, this game is a life saver. I’m nowhere near the level you are, though.

  13. Went poke-hunting through the park Saturday night with my fiance and our roommate. Suddenly out of the darkness surrounding us someone shouted, “ANOTHER PIDGEY!?” and we knew we were with our own kind.

  14. It’s amazing, and it’s calming! Every time I feel rising tides of anxiety, I go sort them or something, and I feel better. Even a terrible day at work didn’t haunt me on the drive home because I stopped in a park and helped defend a gym before heading off for the day. ALSO when people say “Oh hey, you hear about that lame new game?” I just show them my screen, which is usually counting my steps to hatch an egg. Love this.


    I’m not playing, not because I’m morally against it, but because my phone is an asshole and even though I have 512 megs free it won’t update Fallout Shelter which is what I REALLY want to play and the update isn’t bigger than that so stop pretending you don’t have the space, Linda, it’s getting old.

  16. I am resisting the pokemongo pull, everyone is playing… its like the Death Star tracking beam, should I just shutdown the Millennium Falcon and hope to escape later?

  17. What team are you? This is important

    (I wanted to pick Mystic but Hailey and I play together and she’s chose Valor so I’m red by default. ~ Jenny)

  18. My depression and anxiety are trying to take over right now but Pokemon Go and Charity Miles encourages me to leash up the dog, get out in the sun, and try to wrangle my brain. And it also gets my Fitbit to quit lecturing me.

  19. I had it- deleted it after 3 days. I was walking my dog and then I started resenting my dog because I had to hold his leash and couldn’t catch as many as efficiently as I’d like. lol Then I was so busy walking around trying to figure out the app- I almost walked into my neighbor’s garage door instead of mine. (monopoly house suburbs- all the houses look alike) lol Then I was obsessed – and embarrassed myself at Costco. I deleted it off my phone. But it follows you. You can’t go ANYWHERE without hearing that music. lol It’s hilarious because it’s so obvious what people are doing. But all the cute little critters are soooo cute! The names are so fun. How did I NOT know about this cult following. I mean I knew about Pokemon, but I think I was starting college when it really peaked and I was too busy eating Happy Meals and getting beanie babies (which I stupidly still have) ugh… I don’t like people. I don’t know how to rid myself of being a shy POkemonner… which is not too different from being a shy pooper/pisser. I don’t want everyone to know my business!!! lol breathe… breathe… poop… GOTTA CATCH ‘EM ALL!!!!!

  20. How’d you get so many cp? I’m an amateur. My highest is like 203…

    (Every time you catch a new thing you get stardust and you can raise the CP by spending it. Also, stuff from 5k or 10k eggs are usually high CP. I tend to just keep transferring the ones I already have to the professor – except for one of each that has the highest CP – and then I use the candy to evolve and upgrade. ~ Jenny)

  21. In the real world, people call pigeons flying rats. In PokemonGo, that means that Pidgeys are flying rats which means that I am surrounded by rats and flying rats. I get so excited when I see something that isn’t a rat.

  22. Love this and so glad that it’s helping so many people! What team are you on?

    (Red. Hailey picked it. ~ Jenny)

  23. Ahh I love that you play this too!! Also, I am wildly jealous of your Pokedex as I only seem to catch these GD birds and rats. I want the cool unicorn with the fire hair (I should probably learn their names, but fire hair is a lot more fun to say)!

  24. Yeeesss, this is exactly how I feel about it too. I have the actual worst social anxiety and… a bunch of other stuff… so I pretty much go to work and then hide in my house all the time. Except now there is Pokemon Go, so I can go places and focus on the game and before I know it I’m walking around and talking to people just like a human. A+++.

  25. I love Pokemon Go. While I don’t mind the people-y places, I find it difficult to interact directly with people I don’t already know, but this makes it ok. And I’ve heard so many stories about people who find it helpful to them. I think it’s a wonderful thing.

  26. I’m going to start calling adventures “road rips” from now on. Best. Typo. This. Week.

  27. Rattata (the rats) and Zubats (the bats) are the most common pokemon to find in the nintendo games. It makes sense that a lot of them are in Pokemon Go. I don’t have anyone to play with at the moment, so I am limited to when I can catch things. Also Jenny, if you catch a lot of the same pokemon, you can transfer them and get things to level up your current pokemon.I MIGHT be a pokenerd,

  28. Yeah, I’m actually going outside a little more now, and my dad’s in to it now too. God knows what will happen when the temperature drops below 100. (it’s Texas, I don’t know if that’ll ever happen anymore.) He’s 50 years old and last Saturday he was bored at 3 a.m so he decided to skate (not joking, on a longboard) down the street to the park and library because he saw a bunch of lures were out there. And evidently he stayed there for 2 hours. Meanwhile, like a lame-ass, I was asleep. My dad is cooler than me.

    And the other day at the park there was a small stampede because someone screamed there was a Dratini by where they were at.
    It’s like my tribe is having a convention, but it’s EVERYWHERE.

  29. Love it. My job is a complete hotspot with Pokestops all around and a gym at the Mexican restaurant behind me. I am becoming a master at catching Pokemon in my office without anyone catching on… except the bat things – you get rats, I get bats… they make me scream. Apparently my local dive bar has a Pikachu, I just emailed the boyfriend that this is an obvious sign that I need to drink more but he is still pissy because he put an egg in my incubator and I didn’t notice…

  30. My social networks definitely trend to cool crazy folk and it is helping a LOT of my friends get out and about. Sadly I am physically unable to go wander so I watch from the sidelines and cheer.

  31. I’m so glad you are enjoying GO – it’s been amazing seeing a community of other weirdos coming outside. It has also really given a good friend of mine a place to focus her energy and she’s seeing the mental health benefits too. Have you gotten the “secret” greeting yet? Apparently a mild chuckle followed by “hey there” is how we know the other person is also Pokemening. Goooooo Nerds!

  32. I have the only “stupid phone” left in the world, so I can’t play. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I have done geocaching, which is lots less cute, but still fun.

  33. Love this post! It’s also been very good for encouraging socialization among kids on the spectrum (probably some adults, too!). My son, included. 😉

  34. SO GLAD YOU POSTED ON THIS! I was never into Pokemon before this, but I love playing PokemonGO. I have fibromyalgia and Lupus, so having a semi-legitimate (to my own brain anyways) reason for being more “active” is awesome. My family, and some friends, roll their eyes when I tell them what I am doing, but I will take anything that can distract me from the pain of moving. 🙂

  35. Yesterday while out Pokémon hunting with the family we discovered family Olympics and won a gift card to some other cool family fun stuff. Now not only did we catch 5 new unseen Pokémon but we have a date every Sunday for family Olympics and a free trip to the arcade!! Also I don’t think my husband and son have gotten this much exercise in umm EVER!! Glad you found an outlet… I wont judge as a catch this flying bee with a sword!!!!

  36. I hate doing what everyone else is doing. I don’t know why, I just don’t. But I’ve become curious lately and now I’m wondering how in the hell I’m going to get The Viking to play. I didn’t get out of bed yesterday so I certainly won’t be able to embark on a Pokémon Adventure without my trusty Viking. And I already know that getting a headlock on him to persuade him to play won’t work at all and VooDoo is more to make him STOP doing something rather than GETTING him to DO something…………………………And guess what?! I now have a topic for my post tomorrow!

  37. Are you ignoring your Neko Atsume cats? Three new cats want to be your friend. Cats also scare away rats… just sayin’.

  38. Well that does it. You’ve now given me a practical reason to play this game, which I downloaded and stopped playing immediately after capturing a creature in my bathroom. Thank you, Bloggess. Thank you a lot.

  39. I’m so glad to see you talking about this!
    I just finished listening to your first two books, and I wanted to just thank you. I was going through a really bad depression and anxiety spell, and your first book made me laugh for the first time in weeks. Your second one helped me not feel so alone, and be okay with people like my sister calling me crazy.
    Pokémon Go is so wonderful though! When I get done at work I don’t just cl8mb into my bed in my dark room any more. I grab my dogs and go to the park two blocks away.
    Pokémon Go has helped me get healthier, physically and mentally. The last week I have been laughing until I have cried every single day. It feels amazing.

  40. I love those purple rats. I might start playing just to collect them.

  41. Your first paragraph–trapped in their own homes because their brains are assholes and it’s too people-y outside–THERE ARE OTHERS LIKE ME OUT THERE? Hallelujah. Too people-y. Right on.

  42. I hate those stupid f***ing ratTATAs and birds.

    I don’t want to fight them. I just want to collect ALL of them. Main problem is I don’t go many places besides home, work, Starbucks in Kroger… But I’m getting there!

  43. My kids beg me to go out walking. I saw Malala Yousafzai talk last night and even she said she liked it because it gets her brothers moving. Plus, I like it because you’re catching monsters and training them. You’re not shooting things and racking up points for bodies like a lot of games. I’m amazed how many judgmental haters are out there, though. I’m glad you wrote this essay. Thanks.

  44. It has also helped me and my husband get some much needed exercise! POKÉMON go has us racking up about 3 miles a night chasing invisible crap, and now that he’s fallen victim to it too, it means we spend time togethwr, outside, actually talking to each other instead of home, watching TV and only talking to ask the other person to pass the (insert fattening crap here )

  45. So much anxiety these days. So much stress. So much darkness. Playing PG has been helping me as well. Here its stupid Pidgeys as well as rats. They are everywhere. It’s a rodent/bird mafia.

  46. I’ve heard about how much this helps people. I would love to start a game that makes you get out like this, but I just can’t get into it. I want a Harry Potter game. I wanna run around and learn spells. Stop fake evil. That sounds like the superfunest thing ever!

  47. I’ve been recommending Pokémon Go to treat basically everything except bad hair days and skin cancer. And I’m only 87% sure on the skin cancer thing, so ask your doctor. (But seriously, if your hair is as prone to the frizz as mine, tame that shiz before you go out or you’ll be cryin’ later)

  48. I love it too! I’ve spent months with therapists and nutritionists, none of whom could get me to exercise, not even a little. But this game has made me exercise every single day, sometimes even for hours. And I’m sweating. Covered in sweat every day (this is Texas). Take my money, Niantic!

  49. The nice thing about it is that if you are still too anxious to go outside, you can simply pretend your pets are Pokemon and lob tennis balls at them. Gently, of course.

  50. I wish I could hide in my house. Instead I hide in my head. There aren’t any Pokemon there.

  51. I have deep depression and have been struggling with working full time and potty training a very stubborn 3 year old. Pokémon Go has been a saving grace. I can sit in the bathroom for ridiculous amounts of time, since it’s a poop hostage situation, and amuse myself. I see if I can take pics if the Pokémon in absurd places, like my son’s head, while he sits on his throne during our standoff. I giggle like a goober and I think my lightened mood during potty breaks has helped him relax and, well…let go. Also, don’t judge me, and I won’t judge you. Ha!

  52. Umm hi my most favorite part of this post is the part where you say your “next book!” Xoxo jenny!

  53. I haven’t been to the downtown area of where I live in 2 years. This game has gotten me out and about, and laughing with people I wouldn’t have thought. Screw the haters!

  54. Pokemon Go is literally a life saver. I’ve walked more in the last month than I have in the previous 28 years of my existence. Just gotta be careful. I saw someone almost get hit by the fucking trolley/train because he wasn’t paying attention walking across the tracks.

    No idea if he was playing Pokemon Go or if he was just a generally inattentive person. I feel like the point is still valid, though.

  55. I have heard a ton of stories about it making life better for people and then I feel ridiculous because it makes me feel worse. It should make me feel better because hey, finally I’m not the only person walking around the neighborhood even if it’s rainy or really hot or it’s 10:45 PM and a cop is in the park telling people it closes in 15 minutes. Nobody has to know that I also just care way too much about how many FitBit steps I have, or that I’d been doing it since way before the game came out, because we’re all also doing a thing that’s the same. But instead I think about how everyone else is playing with their friends, taking down gyms together, and I’m not. It’s just reinforcing my belief that I’m not fun enough for friends and acquaintances to want to hang out with me unless it’s a large party where I’m just kind of there.

  56. <<“GO AWAY, INVISIBLE RATS. I’M NOT YOUR MOMMY.” Which gets stares from normal people but empathetic nods from other weirdos playing PokemonGo>>

    Sort of reminds me of when my husband wears his
    “Hello, my name is
    Inigo Montoya
    You killed my father.
    Prepare to die”
    tshirt, and people who don’t know say, “Ohhh…,” smile oddly, and get away from him as quickly as they can while pretending to be polite, and people who DO know fall on the floor at his feet, gasping in laughter (further alarming the people who don’t know).

    I want to try PokemonGo, but my outdoor thermometer currently says, “112℉” (SURELY it’s mistaken—does the “F” stand for Fahrenheit or AreYouFuckingKiddingMe?), and I probably won’t until it says, “68℉” (possibly “78℉” if it really is reading 10℉ higher than reality—we shall see. I don’t do hot).

    PS. I had to go check how to spell Fahrenheit.

  57. I don’t play the game myself, mostly due to knowing I’d obsess about it, but I have recognized how much it has done to bring people together and to get people out into the world. I think it’s awesome that you’ve found something that has helped empower you. Way to go!

  58. Whatever works! I have to admit I thought my nephew was creeping on me whe he had his phone pointed at me the whole time I was driving. It amped the anxiety until he caught one and I figured it out 😜

  59. My phone hates Pokemon Go(and I refuse to upgrade just to make it happy) so I downloaded Ingress, the first game from Niantic. I hear that you can use the Ingress map for hard to find Pokemons. Not sure about that. But good luck with the invisible animals(I’m off to capture invisible energy and portals from the enemy and the aliens)

  60. I feel for Victor. My husband is playing the game, so I am in Victor’s spot in this case…which my husband should appreciate. Usually the shoe is on the other foot…though that could be uncomfortable because his size 13 clodhoppers are a lot bigger than my dainty lady feet.

    Anyway, anyway, I am glad Pokemon Go is helping you and others, Jenny.

    PS: We were in Spencer, IA over the weekend. Talk about a pigee infestation!

  61. The Rattatas are like absolutely the worst, because they only evolve once to Ratticates and that’s it, and they’re terrible. and they spawn everywhere like all the time and you’re sitting there saying WHERE’S MORE SQUIRTLES and the game is like WE’RE NOT GIVING YOU SQUIRTLES SO DIE DIE DIE and you’re like AUGH.

    and when you drop a Lure at a Pokestop it’s nice sometimes when the spawn generator starts cranking out Magikarps because hey if you get like 135 Magikarps you can transfer a bunch and with the last one you EVOLVE IT into like the awesome Sea Serpent one that’s like almost unbeatable and you could actually win at a Gym, except that the Lure doesn’t last long enough to spawn 135 MagiKarps and you’re like NOOOOOOO let me have at least 40 more…

  62. I am WAY too accident prone to play this game. I can barely walk through my house without running into a door jam, or bruising my hip on the table that hasn’t moved in 13 years. If I played PokemonGo, it would be just a matter of time before I fell down a well.

  63. i played this when it was called ingress and people made fun of me and told me they were “embarrassed for me” these same assholes are telling me i should play pokemongo.

  64. I don’t have data and I have an older phone that can’t handle the game. I has sad!!!

  65. My area is full of Drowzees, we’ve started calling them “Sleepy Fuckers”.

    (It’s weird that they’re sort of location driven. I’ve never even seen a drowzee. We’re all bats and rats and pigeons. Much like real life, I guess. ~ Jenny)

  66. What you said. Except it wasn’t a park at midnight, it was a church graveyard. And it wasn’t a possum, it was a skunk.

  67. For every negative story I read about Pokemon Go People crashing cars and falling off cliffs I am seeing 3 positive ones like this. I’m loving playing with my adult kids and going for walks with my husband when we would normally be watching Chopped. Thanks for the laugh today-I’m going to go rename a Pokemon “Fuck Yeah!” In your honor.

  68. My husband went to the state capitol here in Austin Saturday night and said there were a couple of hundred people around, most of whom were playing. The dog is certainly enjoying his new hobby.

  69. Local metro park system (Columbus Metro Parks are awesome) held a super gym battle on Friday night. Hot and humid, but the park is full of people. Was sitting on a bench with my family, collecting invisible monsters, and another Dad with his youngish son is walking by. Kid asks him a question, he of course doesn’t know the answer, so he does the logical thing: just says out in a normal voice “Hey how do we do…” I don’t remember what it was, but they instantly got help from a group of complete strangers. Then everybody went about having fun. It’s a fad and it won’t last, but let’s enjoy coming together for a while.

  70. I play Pokemon’s predecessor, Ingress. It had many of the same effects for me. The big difference between the two is Ingress ends up having a big team aspect. Uou end up socializing and building new friendships, the game becomes something of a side note. I’ve been playing Ingress (go enlightened) for over 3 years now. I’ve made great friends in it, people I would have never met otherwise. And these people often check in on me when I have a too-many-people-around-me weekend. I highly recommend it! (But chose green team).

  71. Dude, YES. PokemonGo has gotten me out to places I’d totally not have gone to otherwise. It has also made me SEVERELY late for work the past few days because, impulse control, I do not haz it (and I drive by three spots that I know are loaded with Pokemon every morning on the way to work), but generally it has been really good.

    I also keep hearing stories about people making friends while out hunting Pokemon and that’s really nice. It gives me hope that I might one day actually be able to form semi-non-awkward out-loud sentences in front of other people, even if it IS while we all stare down at our phones. 😉

  72. I was cracking up and read this to hubby (a 98%ile genius who loves the game) and he was enjoying it..right up to when I showed him your Pokemons (mon…men?). He said, and I quote, “A grimer? She’s got a grimer?!”

    He always liked that I liked you. But now he likes you too. Because you are that cool girl who games. 🙂

  73. This is why it helps me to have a dog in NYC. No yard, so they have to be walked 2-3 times a day, so I have to get out of the house. In particular in the winter I have to get outside and get daylight in my eyeballs.

  74. Sweet, I will now stop ordering medications for my patients with panic disorder and now order them all to play this game! Sweet health and happiness, ahoy!

  75. I LOVE this game too. I am 50, have, Lupus, Anxiety and hate the heat. I am a get off work, eat dinner, clean up, watch netflix til bedtime girl yawn I know… So far I have walked every day since starting the game, even logging 13,000 steps in one day in my fitbit. I have lost 5 lbs without adjusting my diet and my mood/darkcloud and stamina is sooo much improved! I even told my Rheumatologist that he should recommend it to other Lupus patients. It takes my mind off the pain and makes sweating in the heat doable because of the instant gratification of Pokemon and hatching eggs! I am so Happy you discovered this JOY!

  76. Yeah, Pokemon GO made me go from “let’s get home from work as fast as possible” to “Hmm if I detour there there’s some nice pokestops also here’s this gym how about I test myself.
    Also I don’t get that many rats but the fucking pigeons… which is pretty accurate when it comes to the real fauna of my city…
    Also I caught Psyduck. I love Psyduck XD

  77. BTW finally something that made my life-perfected skill of walking while reading be a use in real life not a nerdy thing…
    Wait, it’s still a nerdy thing.. I’ll walk myself out…

  78. I want to play this so bad! My wife plays, she has social anxiety, and it’s great for her. Unfortunately I can’t really walk or stand for more than a minute, and still don’t have the wheelchair that was ordered last year (very long story). Can’t catch too many stuck in this bed all day! (Not for lack of trying!)

    I enjoy living vicariously through my wife’s playing. And now yours too. I hope my wheelchair gets here so I can get rolling (haha). I think it would be good for my anxiety, depression, ocd, and especially my agoraphobia.

  79. It’s funny, I’ve had people tease me about playing, others who don’t know about it and are curious, and a whole lot of other people who are actively playing it. In addition to the points you mentioned about getting people out and about, I think it has also become a phenomena that can be used by organizations (whether they are commercial or non-commercial) to get people to come out and participate in events. I’ve seen things like the folks at a shelter who had invited Pokemon players to walk their dogs, libraries with Pokestops inviting kids in to “catch them all”, a dating site, and all sorts of other ways that this game allows people to connect with each other. It’s also fun to have something you can talk about with a complete stranger….like “OMG, a Pikachu just spawned right here!” and everyone in earshot all of a sudden reacts and responds.

    Oh, and by the way, I’m surrounded by rats AND pidgeys….jeez.

  80. This is the weirdest and scariest game ever. Before this, you’d never catch me going out for a casual walk, or going outside at night for fun, or cycling aimlessly. At best, I was a Make Eye Contact and Smile At Strangers person.

    The effect is very creepy! I put up a lure on a dark street corner and watched all of these people wander out in pajamas toward me. In this neighbourhood, no one makes eye contact or small talk, and suddenly I’m staring them down because I WANT to have a conversation. What happened to me?? Yesterday, I stood in a lured group of 30+ strangers and literally no one even acknowledged each others existence.

    But people did yell “WHAT DID YOU FIND” at me from their cars. And seemingly every cafe in Vancouver has a 15% discount for pokemon trainers. The world is so strange.

  81. After my 2-day-long anxiety spiral landed me in the ER this week (and by the way, OK hospitals won’t prescribe you anti-anxiety meds until after they’ve discharged you and sent you on a tour of all the medical clinics which are closed and/or not accepting new psych patients so that you have to come back and launch an angry roommate at them like a cannonball), I’m thinking PokemonGo might actually need some more dusting off.

    I got the boyfriend addicted. He’s outlevelled me. This means I now have no excuse not to get off my lazy, panicking ass and pretend to enjoy nature. If you roam far enough north, maybe I’ll see you out there, lady. 😉

  82. I am playing this too. Magicarp is my favorite because he flops and is lame, but endearing.

    (When I first caught a magicarp I thought, “This is me in pokemon form.” ~ Jenny)

  83. It is so fun! And weird and amazing. I’m loving it. Right now is 300 degrees outside (seriously, like 103!?!?! How are we alive?), and I am so bummed because it is limiting my pokemoning! Its been fun to watch you on Insta.

    (Sometimes we go to the park and just battle from the air-conditioning of the car if we can park close enough to a gym. We do a lot of hunting at night or at dusk when the sun is less likely to kill us all. ~ Jenny)

  84. Don’t forget to watch out for cyclists. I’ve almost hit people paying more attention to their phone than where they are going. Usually when I ring my bell, it makes them jump.

  85. LONG LIVE PONY DANZA!! It’s almost incredible how this silly and super ridiculous game keeps me focused enough to not destroy myself but instead collect imaginary animals.

  86. This is amazing- I am a clinical hypnotherapist – who also struggles with depression and anxiety- the irony- now I am thinking maybe this is a good way to help clients!!especially kids

  87. To make your real life photos of Victor and Pokemon critters even better, press the little camera icon. It removes the extra icons, etc. on your screen. (You probably knew that, but just in case you didn’t.)

    (I totally didn’t know that. ~ Jenny)

  88. I have been seeing lots of articles about how the game is helping people. It’s getting old people in nursing homes moving, giving sick kids something to do in their hospital beds. All sorts of awesome stories. =D

  89. I didn’t know you could rename them!! That’s the best! And my kids learned the word “infested” today when I was talking about the rats in our neighbourhood. Totally educational game.

  90. Sigb. I would play, but I broke my stupid foot. Don’t think I will find many at the office or on my couch. Bummer. Maybe it will be cooler when I am all healed? Nope, it’s Texas. Glad to hear it is helping you!

  91. I’ve entered a dark phase where I haven’t left my house without my husband for going on 6 weeks now. Maybe I should try this. I’m guessing it would be helpful to have a powerbank or two? I love the idea of being “out among people” but as you said, it battles with the “it’s too peopley out there!!!” feeling. <3

  92. I’m so glad for you! Huh, who knew, pokemongo as an antiagoraphobia thing. My husband said he’s running over them with his truck if he sees them. He doesn’t understand how Pokemons work.

  93. I have two children, make that three if you count the hubby, all running round inside and out chasing pokemon. I didn’t realise my house was infested. But apparently it is Pidgey’s as far as the eye can see. Xxx

  94. I spoke at WordCamp Montreal last weekend. It was terrifying. People, public speaking, possible judgement. However, lures were down a lot. Pokemon actually gave me something fun to talk to strangers about. I mean, aside from discussing my sweats.

  95. I love that this game is helping you and bringing you such joy. I have heard from other friends with anxiety disorders that they are also enjoying the game and that it is helping them. My husband, daughter, and I are all playing and loving it.

  96. I am so mad that it’s ridiculously hot bc I cannot play this bc the heat makes me pointlessly angry and angry makes me scared. I’d explain this but I suspect everyone who reads these comments gets it.

  97. I’ve met so many random strangers playing this game. A few of them have told me that it is helping with many of their issues like you have mentioned. It’s really easy to see how many other weirdos are playing and spark up a conversation. BTW, the Riverwalk in San Antonio, loaded with Pokemon and Pokestops. I was just there this weekend. Caught 6 new ones.

  98. I needed something this week. I didn’t want to leave my couch. It’s bad. Like dark. But I’ve gotten up and ran in the rain today. Not exercise run but happy joyful “oh this is nice warm summer rain” enjoy this kind of run. And it helped. And little things help, and I certainly didn’t think that plugging in when I do this alllllll day long for other people for my livelihood,.. I usually try to unplug– but that seems a little scary right now. To download a silly game. Sure if that’ll keep my head quiet when it’s too quiet– I’m in!

  99. This makes me wish I had a Smartphone that actually worked with the app. D: I’m missing out and by the time I get a phone that works with it, Pokemon Go won’t be cool any more so of course I’ll have missed out on being cool. AGAIN.

    I hate that.

  100. I’m torn. As a teacher constantly trying to get my students to turn off their phones and appreciate the things around them
    but I can see how this would be useful too. It’s a tough call.for me

  101. Hmmmm….. so I was wondering where I stole “peopley” from.
    Guess it was you?
    No matter, I claim it in my little hidey hole of the internet.
    I do that a lot.
    If something clever pops out of my head I immediately claim it, then wonder where the hell I stole it from later on.
    “Cat- frighteningly stupid” I actually convinced myself I thought up for a while….until I re-read John Cleese last book.

  102. This “not a real post” will get shared with my friend who is playing.We hadn’t been on a walk since she started playing and I was like “LOOK three bunnies! A groundhog!” And she was all “There’s an Oddish on your butt.” And so there was.

  103. I can’t wait to get my disability so I can get a new phone just so I can play Pokemon GO! Come on Social Security, get with it, I have important things to buy! 😂

  104. We live in Japan, on a military base, and when PokemonGo came out, the base had a meeting to tell security NOT to shoot people on base who looked like they were taking pictures of stuff they shouldn’t be taking pictures of. They’re supposed to find out if they’re playing first, then they get to decide what to do! True story.

  105. I still don’t get what it’s all about, but if it makes you happy, I say go for it!

  106. How are you getting so many Rattatas?? I mostly get those damn Pidgeys. Glad you are enjoying it—I am too. Probably more than I should, being a 60-year-ol woman.

  107. Maybe Half a thousand miles could invent a Pokemon Geo app for all the cool kids plus.

  108. Love this! I fought with severe anxiety disorder for about 15 years and finally kicked its butt. Thanks for being real, Jenny!

  109. At halfa1000miles and anonymous #136: Yes! I thought the geocaching was the original PokemonGo… or maybe it was the treasure hunt with paper clues hidden in the backyard… I’m not a cool kid, but I’m OK with it … I am glad people are enjoying it and it’s playing head games with the best of us 🙂

  110. I have found the same thing. I have trouble leaving my house unless it is something action oriented, like getting groceries, going to work, to an appointment, that kind of thing, but now with pokémon go I find it meets that need. I can go out just for the sake of going out. Yesterday I managed to go to Tim’s (yes Im Canadian) just so I could hit all the pokéstops along the way and managed to sit and have a coffee, by myself, and enjoy it. I dont know if that has ever happened before. And on the ferry the other day I had a conversation with strangers about how cool it would be if they put a gym in the middle of the harbour- it was great. I sat on the waterfront with tons of strangers around and didn’t feel out of place. This game has been a game changer for me (see what I did there), Its good to know other people are finding the same thing.

  111. I love this!!! I have been fairly antisocial in my Pokemon Go playing but at least it’s getting me outside and that’s good. Also instead of rats I get birds. So many Pidgeys. I’m like the bird lady from Home Alone 2.

  112. Warning: Pokemon is a gateway drug. Soon, you will be birding, geocaching, letterboxing. Although there is more social with Pokemon. I love things that allow me to pretend I have friends, like Facebook.

  113. I haven’t gotten on the bandwagon. I have my phone out more than my husband can stand already, and if I start seeing invisible monsters I may very well lose my last few links to sanity. It’s been a rough month, and getting rougher; depression is a deep dark hole where I have no work and no money and I hate my life (but no worries, I love my son too much to do anything drastic).

    (Sending you love. I know it’s hard. ~ Jenny)

  114. While I’m out watering the flowers I see the neighborhood kids wandering aimlessly down the middle of the street trying to catch these Pokemon characters. Totally reminds me of the Star Trek episode, “The Game”.

  115. My confession: I don’t understand Pokemon, and my current medicine regimen involves delightful side effects such as photosensitivity & heat sensitivity. So I’m getting all this feedback about how awesome Pokémon Go is and people I think a really great have so many good things to say about it and it’s so scary to me. So, does anyone have any suggestions because I would like to try this thing but I can’t really go outside and there aren’t Pokémon in my house (it’s 116 years old, it should have creatures!) how do I begin to understand it?

    (You can play at home but you’ll run out of balls to catch creatures in unless you pay for more or visit a pokestop. There are a lot of parking lots that you can park in that have pokestops and battle gyms. Churches, universities, etc. Also, some restaurants have pokestops in them. There are a lot of people who only play indoors or in running cars. I often find myself parked between two other cars with players inside. 🙂 ~ Jenny)

  116. Thank you for making me laugh so many times when I read your books for the first time. I feel like I had not laughed in eight months. I also just came up with my own joke which you can use because it was funny. It was because of your blog today.
    The question is if your brain is being an asshole do you go see a gastroenterologist or proctologist?
    The answer is it depends on what’s leaking out LOL . Your writing is one of the very very best i have ever read and I just want to thank you from the bottom my heart for making me not feel so alone .

  117. Wait, you forgot to mention how you can be in a big pile of scary people and never have to look at anyone. Pokemon Go makes it socially acceptable to socialize while staring at your phone. What a bonus!

  118. Man, I can’t possibly be the only one that just doesn’t get this! It’s like you all are speaking in a different language or something. (Maybe I’m just too old!) Not at all my type of thing, but it’s sure cool that so many people are helped by it. Whatever works, I guess.

  119. Love this game too! It has helped my mental health a bunch and my 11 year old son actually asks to go out in public with me now!

  120. the awful awful times a million slaughter in japan over disabled people. he even told people he didnt think the disabled should exist. -mutilatedwave

  121. It’s SO great. My husband and I have been playing. I took him down to one of my childhood parks but was all “this was a pretty rough park, let’s catch the Pokemon and get ready to take off” but discovered they’d revamped the whole thing and it was an incredible, beautiful park! Now we have a park to go to for picnics!
    Also, our ducks have been hiding their eggs and we thought they weren’t laying. I looked like a Pokemon might be in the very back of our yard. Turned out it was next door BUT we found alllllll the eggs the Ducks had been hiding! Thanks Pokemon!!

  122. So many people I know of are having the same experience. I love a game that breaks down walls. If I had a smartphone, I would never go to work.

  123. My two roomies play it all the time, and I have gotten used to them yelling out something while I am driving, with my response being a quiet “Do you need for me to pull over, or turn in a particular direction?” And they know I would so do that for them. But they know I will probably not play it, because…meh…I don’t feel comfortable in sudden crowds of three or more…or around strangers….and…and….sigh Oh alright…I’ll THINK about playing it…how’s that?

  124. NODS I have seen a marked improvement in my husband since he and my son have started to play the game. When out in public, if he starts to feel a panic attack coming, he just starts up Pokemon Go and it helps!

    Hell, even in the doctors office today, his blood pressure was lower (still, high, but low for him). He was playing the game.


  125. I’ve started playing PokemonGo as well and it is totally awesome!! I’m really glad to see you are enjoying it Jenny and it really does help with anxiety and those other nasties!! It’s agGreat way to start a conversation with random strangers!! and get more exercise… and hilarious to see gamers who normally never go outside, being out and about walking and socialising 🙂 😛 🙂

  126. I’m not fast enough for Pokemon (allergic to exercise, really), but I can totally relate. My poodle insists I go outside and greet everyone in sight on the regular. This post makes me happy. 🙂

  127. I finally met my neighbor acroos the street because of it. i happened to be walking passed her house as she was saying bye to someone else and my kids were suddenly in the backyard playing frisbee with her dog. She’s lived there 3 years (8 years and i still don’t know my next door neighbor’s name.) part of me feels good to have met a possible new friend but mostly i’m like DAMMIT I HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THIS PERSON NOW.

  128. I know that I am a little late to the party (I started reading this while on my way to visit my cousin in the hospital, but I had to turn my phone off and then the signal got choppy when we were out), but once I finished it I just had to comment.

    I become very anxious – especially out in public – and for the last couple of months I have been in and out (but mostly in) a depressed state. Since its release, however, I have been feeling so much better. Pokémon GO has been encouraging me to get up and get out without feeling as if I am dragging myself around. Despite what some people say, Pokémon GO is a blessing to people of all ages.

    I am so happy that it has been helping you as well!

  129. This is so true! I don’t even play (because I’m pretty sure it would kill my phone, but I hardcore support my boyfriend’s habit) and I’m convinced that this is one of the best things technology has ever done for us. I’ve had two friends with anxiety disorders tell me it’s amazing for them. I’ve read stories of autistic children being able to socially engage. I’ve seen people of every status and race and age and whatever-other-identifier hanging out together. I’ve seen families out together. People walking shelter dogs. Police are interacting positively with the community. Small businesses are making up specials for players and people who are out and about now are spending money at those local businesses. There is absolutely nothing about this whole thing I don’t love, and I’m so happy it’s also helping you!!

  130. Except that just knowing it will force me to leave my house gives me enough anxiety to keep me from downloading it… 🙄 I love that it is helping people though! I’m just trying to convince myself I’m just being lazy and I’m not crazy. And that rhymed

  131. I haven’t started playing yet. Perhaps I need to. I saw a boy catch one on the escalator in the Bellagio in Vegas, coming in from the Aria tram. It was cool.

  132. Now I know I have to rename all my pokies. — And there is nothing but Pidgys’s around here. Or is it pidgies? ( and my 11 year old knows them all! I torture him by calling them by the wrong name. It’s a dodo bird right?

  133. As I told a fellow cyclist at a party this past Saturday, when you get to be our age, you don’t need a phone app to get you to sweat outside until you see things that aren’t there.

  134. I take pictures of the Rats next to my kitties when they pop up and show them to my kitties and say, “Caught you fuckers slippin’!”. I’m a whole new level of crazy, haha.

  135. i’d hate to alarm you – but is that a tiny human head in the middle of your kitchen counter, just to the top left of victor’s head??

    (Ha! It was a sandwich shop. ~ Jenny)

  136. Dude. I just spent three days doing family trees. I feel like I’m hoarding ancestors and its fucking awesome

    (I do that too. Ancestry is addictive. ~ Jenny)

  137. I’ve read many good things about how Pokemon Go is helping everyone from those on the autism spectrum. I’m enjoying playing it too, and it’s showing me my new city. Between pokestops that tell me about the city (I’m vision impaired so I don’t notice stuff others take for granted) and the incentive of catching new pokemon taking me further afield than normal, I’ve discovered a mural, visited a park I’d never seen before that is the home of Hitmonlee and Jigglypuff among others, discovered a small shopping and eating district close to home and I’m planning more walks.

    Here in Australia, if you drive around in a car, you’re egg-hatching is seriously penalised so I’m strategising trips that revolve around walking. I’m not sure if I’m up to walking to the botanical gardens, around the gardens and home again, so I’m wondering if I should let my partner drive us there — or partway there, at least.

    Today I hatched a Snorlax whose CP is over 1600 after powering him up. I’m starting to think about visiting a gym and trying to take it over. >:-]

    BTW ever since I saw your instagram of your renamed pokemon, I’ve only referred to THAT pokemon as “Free Hugs”. I don’t think he’ll ever acquire his proper name in this household! 😀

    PS You’ll have to come back to Australia to catch Kangaskhan. 😀

  138. Before my physical problems made me a near shut-in, I played Ingress (the game PokemonGo was based on) and I found exactly the same thing. Suddenly I was going out to crowded places and not panicking because why should I? I was on a secret mission to prepare the world for its next evolutionary step by helping a mysterious alien intelligence, and that was much more important than worrying about who all these strangers were and why they were staring at me.

    Now that I’ve gotten a wheelchair and I’m a bit more mobile, I might install Pokemon just to check it out and give myself an excuse to go portal-I mean pokemon-hunting again.

  139. I’ve been playing this game with my son. I love the exercise and the fact that we’re doing something as a family. We don’t always meet other people playing, but when we do, that’s cool too.

  140. Ahhhh, I never feel more normal than when I come here and read your posts and the ensuing comments. lol I love it!

    I’ve also started Pokemoning at the insistence of my brother’s girlfriend and I’m totally getting into it. My husband and I carpool and I started catching them on the ride to and from work. It’s also getting me out and walking. All good things! Might even go to a busier park ON THE WEEKEND … WITH PEOPLE!! It’s a freakin’ miracle! 🙂

    Love you all! You’re saving me! xo

  141. I get you. It’s helping 🙂

    Some friends and relatives are a bit snooty about it; that it’s sad, a children’s game, and people are just looking at screens all the time. But. I don’t see how it’s any more ‘sad’ than watching TV (also looking at a screen all the time). At least this way you’re getting fresh air and exercise, too (and yes, often meeting people!).

    Also loved this:

    and, for entirely different reasons, these:

  142. I NEED to try this. I tried to download it and it said my phone wasn’t compatible. : ( Would it be horrible to get a new phone just so I can play PokemonGo???

  143. That screencap of what you named the Pokemon is exactly why I love you and your blog. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  144. I love the idea of Pokemon Go as a way to meet and talk to random strangers and maybe even make friends because I’m one of those weirdos who enjoys talking to random people but I have so many reasons to stop looking at my phone all the time.
    Is it going to be weird if I learn everything there is to know about the game without actually playing it, just so I can talk to people who are playing it? Are bona fide Pokemon Go players going to be upset with me looking over their shoulders?

  145. I was riding my boomermobile along a river pathway, stopping for Pokemon, when some kind people came over to find out if I was ok and i said “I’m fine, there’s a pokestop here.”
    Boomermobile -3 wheeled scooter that lets me get around with my back injury

  146. My son and I spent hours drinking bubble tea and chasing Pokemon. I am a home body but it was fun and fun to see how many people were doing the same thing. My son even talked Poketalk with others (I didn’t understand what language they were speaking but it was still fun). Enjoy it!

  147. I adore Pokemon Go!!!My 10 year old and I spent hours outside, laughing, talking, being excited with each other, and getting exercise!! Priceless!!!

  148. Last week at my 3 month weigh in at my doctor’s office (she thinks that facing her and her scale every 3 months will encourage me to lose weight) I was up a couple of pounds. I told her that I needed to get back into walking to/from work. She says – “Are you playing Pokemon Go?” I was not. She then instructed me to start playing as a way of getting in more steps in my day. So, by order of my doctor, I’m now a Pokemon hunter.

  149. I realize that everyone and their grandmother is playing this right now – literally, right now – but you lost me after rats AND worms.

  150. As it appeared, I have an infestation of Doduos next to me house. I feel very blessed. I might start believing in god again.

  151. Pokemon Go! is just magic. I leave my house, find adventures, play with my wife and kids, and enjoy the shit out of it. #Holla for the socially petrified, and overwhelmed. We rock this shit.

  152. No one’s judging you – we’re too busy trying to catch them too!! I love this game. My family (me at 46, my 49 yr old hubby, 25 yr old son and 23 yr old daughter, although she lives 4 hours away ) are all playing and have explored more of our cities (Ottawa and Oshawa ON Canada) in the past week than we have in years! I’m finding monuments, memorials, statues and parks that I never knew existed and have met so many fellow players of all ages. My hubby and I are both overweight so anything that gets us moving is just good, and we’re together so that’s even better. Go Team Instinct! 🙂

  153. Just be safe out there! People are getting hit by cars…..running into other cars (like those belonging to the police)…..and falling into real pits, not just small drainage ditches.

  154. I’ve seen a shit ton of people out playing it. Glad it’s helping you out. Normally this is the type of populist activity of which I would make fun, but I figured the people playing like it and it’s not hurting me, so fuck me. I, on the other hand, have a learning disabled phone and cannot play it. My particular brand of anxieties are different, so it doesn’t really apply anyway. Be well.

  155. It’s also fun for us to do as a family! My very sedentary son is now wanting to walk around ALL THE TIME and go on errands with me. I actually leave the house on days that I don’t have to, so we can stock up on Pokeballs. <3

  156. I haven’t started to play PokemonGO because, well, the thought of traipsing to a whole bunch of different places makes me feel anxious (right now I am trying to muster up the courage to simply go to the laundromat). But based on what I’ve heard, it’s the best thing happening this summer.

  157. I LOVE pokemon go. Love it with a passion, but I definitely keep it in my pocket on vibrate. The park by my house is starting to look like a zombie apocalypse at night with all the people out staring at their phones catching pokemon

    I love it. totally not embarrassing.

  158. I’m an introvert (mostly) and it’s helped me reach out and talk to people I never would have talked to. And I’m out getting exercise, it’s been rainy here for 2 weeks (which is weird) but I’ve been out walking to hatch eggs and catch pokemon. Lastly, my mom and brother play, and my dad is curious (but he has a basic flip phone) and we have BONDED over Pokemon… my brother and I talk strategy and we teach my mom how to do things and we brag about what we’ve caught or hatched. Many people here think it’s a “dumb game” but they just don’t get it, and that’s fine with me.

  159. If the game managed not to crash or go offline when I get the chance to play it, I might have stuck with it… our kids love it though 🙂

  160. I must confess – I saved my first rattata and renamed it “HakunaRatata” so I wouldn’t delete it by mistake.

    I saw something neat at a city park last weekend. There were a couple of groups of heavily tattooed hiphop dressed sideways-hat-wearing teens & 20-somethings clustered down by the river smoking. I noted their presence because, well, I grew up near NYC. Then all of a sudden they proved they were not a threat as one of them called out “SLOWPOKE! There’s a slowpoke here!” And he ran up the hill to where a family of a different skin color & clothing was having a picnic and repeated it for them to hear. And he waved us in too, a family of a yet a third skin color & clothing.

    And before I forget, there are Easter eggs in the Eevee evolution — rename your Eevee “Rainer” and it’ll become a mer-fox kind of thing. There are 2 others but my 9yo is the keeper of that lore. These are apparently a tribute to an early movie or TV show. 🙂 It’s all online somewhere, but not behind this corporate firewall.

    Hakuna Rattata y’all.

  161. LOL! What ever works! Love the new names you have given your Pokemon!
    I am the only person under 80 who doesn’t own a smart phone. This may push me over the edge to finally give in and send Verizon the little disposal income I have left after I pay for all my children’s smart phones each month. Sorry kids, college degrees are over rated… momma wants to play Pokémon too!

  162. We get more Zubats than anything in my neighborhood. Just my luck to get a surplus of the most annoying Pokemon to catch.

    Ironically, I had a real bat almost hit me in the face in the wee hours last night when my husband and I were walking down a dark Zubat-infested path. Shame; so close to crossing “get a rabies shot” off my bucket list.

  163. Yes re: the agoraphobia. Ironically, though, I caught Rapidash at the foot of my bed.

  164. I am having fun playing with my Things. This is a win for parents everywhere! So glad you posted.


  165. I LOVE the names you renamed yours! And now I am thinking about renaming mine! Because.. Obviously!! I love the part where it gives me incentive to get out and walk more. The other night, when I was walking for two hours, back and forth along the same stretch, about a mile long, to catch the pokestops…, I observed many other people doing roughly the same thing… It dawned on me that this is an amazing game! People all over the world are playing the game, at the exact same time. Getting out. Moving. I read an article, can’t remember where, about an obese man that had lost ten pounds since taking up the game. I think it’s fucking awesome!!

  166. My son took my phone from me, downloaded this game, and MADE me go outside Pokemon hunting. The only stipulation was that if we ran in to anyone he knew, I was his cousin. At first, I was like, “This is so embarrassing”. This, of all things -not the Harry Potter Costume Party, not HAVING to buy (and promptly losing) that Green Lantern string man out of the ‘gumball’ machine, not dying my hair blond and taking Snapchat selfies so I can face swap with Draco Malfoy and Legolas, none of those things- THIS was the thing that made me feel like a ‘nerd’.

    Then the magic happened. We walked around (at night, natch) and there were others out doing the same. We traded tips (“Did you go to the park? There’s [insert the name of some awesome Pokemon I’ve forgotten] for days!” “Oh, cool. That Charmander you’re looking for is over by the entrance.”), and saw lots of other people out at imaginary gyms and catching imaginary creatures. It was surreal and cool.

    And now I need to go rename all my Pokemon.

  167. THANK YOU, JENNY–for your books, and cats and blog; it is so great to read something that says just what is inside my head. Finally–somebody who gets it all. You are wonderful, even when you don’t think so.

  168. A way to battle my depression, get outdoor exercise while pregnant AND spend time with the kids? Ok, you’ve convinced me.

  169. I’ve not been playing it (I deliberately only have a dumbphone), but something about the sight of people out hunting pokemon puts a big smile on my face. Although… the other day, by the lake where I eat lunch and watch waterfowl, a pokemonista completely failed to notice three day-old moorhen chicks running past his feet. Look around you, man. CHICKEN-LEGGED POMPOMS IN REAL LIFE.

  170. Woo! It’s a blast, and it is super nice to have a reason to go out that lets me walk at my own pace, with frequent stops, even.

  171. I had a dream with rats in it last night! How f*ckin weird is that!? I’ll have to get out there with my PokemonGo. My son started an account for me and now I know why. We’re psychic! Too cool!

  172. OK, I have the same damned addictive nature and if I start playing this I might get myself killed walking into the street, depress my cat because I’m not home where he can do his job as my therapy companion, not cook dinner. SHIT! That’s the best reason of all to play. Let my family fend for themselves!

  173. So I downloaded the game for my daughter but now I’m thinking I need to get it myself. Because while a job working from home is kinda ideal for someone with social anxiety it hasn’t exactly helped me make irl friends in my new city (and state). I almost talked to a woman at the gym today. (She got on the treadmill next to me and there were other extras. Doesn’t that mean that she was trying to chat?) But then I freaked out inside. I think she might have done the same thing. That or she noticed my wedding ring and decided I wasn’t worth talking to…

  174. Dear Bloggess and kindred spirit extraordinaire…

    I am a huge fan and felt a kindred spirit with you with my anxiety and ocd (I’m sure you’ve noticed how the computer replaces ocd with odd, WHY must our own computers torture us so?!) which no one else “really” understands. Mine cropped up when I was an air traffic controller who had to always scan, scan, scan to keep climbing/descending/turning airplanes, you know, from “getting together”. Fairly terrifying when thinking of all the people in the little dots on the scopes but then we try not to think of it that way, you know, for sanity reasons.

    Anyway, a couple of the really mean type-a personalities launched a personal vendetta against me (because they enjoy making people miserable who don’t fight back). Problem was, I was a really good controller, but am tender hearted. So instead of letting them get to me I worked harder. Longer. Turned down breaks so no one could possibly say anything about my performance. Guess what that got me? A nervous breakdown. So now I have a pretty familiar relationship with an excellent shrink and excellent meds. To get myself out I use my travel gnome and now have an unhealthy addiction to putting him in photos I feel he should be in. Which are all of them. He’s a really good companion though.

    Anyway, today I made a minor but brave post on FB and one of my former coworkers hated on and judged me and now I’m sitting in my mom cave hurting and mad and anxious and sweating and jumpy and I just popped two xanax so hopefully I’ll feel much better soon. SO… your “stop judging me. I’m already judging myself enough.” comment soothed me. Here’s a screen shot of the shit he unloaded on me. With my gnome Eric in the shot. Anyway, I thought I handled more politely than he deserved but he’s unfriended me which I’m totally fine with but it’s a shame he can’t see the responses. Eric wishes he could move his fingers so only the important one could convey his feelings.

    Anyway, thank you for making me feel less alone and not weird for my anxiety and odd (OCD damn computer!). Enjoy searching for pokie man rats. Eric and I are with you in spirit!

    Carrie Whiten

    (I’m sending you love. You are awesome. Don’t forget it. ~ Jenny)

  175. Thank you, just… thank you. I am sitting at the computer with PokemonGo on my phone, ready to go to bed after ‘the day we get foreclosed for real’ finally happened. You made me smile. Thank you.

  176. YES. ALL OF THIS. Also? I think that we really are meant to someday meet and get along famously, because I renamed Magikarp “Flopflop” and Golbat is “This Jerk”. Our naming conventions and impressions of the characters are very very similar.

    Now I will share a thing that happened today, so that you feel less alone: Today, I was in the mall. Because I needed to get a book (and because the coffee shop in my local mall’s bookstore just happens to be a Pokestop and I was in need of supplies). And I wound up in the Sephora Jr. located inside JCPenney. Because reasons. Anyway, this mall has music piped in, and as I was leaving the mall, I could hear the delicate strains of Miley Cyrus. So I did what seemed most logical: I started singing along. Out loud. Much to the surprise and confusion of the strangers around me.


  177. We love Pokemon go too! Last week DH started conversations with several different people we’d never met before because of this game. We both walk the dog probably a billion times more than we used to. And our children all plead with us to let them run around the block a time or two.

    The only complaint we have is that the two vacations we took (one to the mountains, one to a lake) both ended up in cellular dead zones. We hiked close to 50 miles a day and none of our eggs hatched because our phone didn’t believe us that we really were on planet Earth.

  178. So my 10k egg hatched during lunch with my husband and I was like ‘Pony Danza!’ and he just stared at me over his roast beef sandwich. This from a man who keeps sending me screenshots of cubones he caught in a back alley…

  179. I thought the game looked interesting, and it’s clearly caught on all over the world. I’m glad that people are enjoying it and finding it helpful. What I worry about is the privacy issues that seem to come with downloading the app; the app tracks your location and then sells your information to marketing companies. I also worry about kids being tracked by the app – dangerous. If you do a search for PokemonGo and privacy, you’ll see what I mean.

  180. I’m just starting PG, but it has helped me a lot too. Yesterday I was hanging around in a park which I would normally never do because that’s where people are, but there was a lot of pokestops with lures on them. And a lot of people, but nobody was noticing me because everyone else was staring at their phones too. Like, oldER people, too. It was awesome. Then, on my way back home I noticed that a cemetary close by had like 9 pokestops and that’s how I ended up standing in the middle of a cemetary at night with 15 other people. It was weird.
    Also, I’m Finnish, and we NEVER EVER EVER talk to strangers, but I noticed a lot of people talking with each other about the game. I really don’t understand all the hate that the game gets from non-players, because I can only see positive effects. Except that it will totally shorten your phone’s battery life.

  181. You said ” too people-y outside” HAHA!!!! LOVE it! I may have to steal that phrase when people invite me places. 🙂

  182. If I was in the $$, and bought a racehorse, I would totally name it Pony Danza.

  183. I don’t play PokemonGo but I love hearing all the stories of the PokemonGo adventurers and what they’ve named the characters! Also, I now want Victor to buy you a miniature horse, because, well, miniature horses are insanely adorable and because Pony Danza.

  184. my 17 year old grandson freaked out because there was something wrong with his skin. His other grandma (whom he lives with) had to explain to him what a tan was, since he’d never been outside long enough to experience one before. Pokemon for the win for the depressed!

  185. I had a minor health crisis last May and have been slowly turning things around since then. My husband and I have been trying to go somewhere and walk every weekend since last October (once I got over the exhaustion part) and have looking for time/reason to go for walks during the week lately. Pokemon go has been the thing to get us out and walking in this terrible heat and humidity late at night. Discovered our big local park is just chock full of Pokestops, a gym and a large variety of pokemon to look for. Spent an hour wandering around with lots of other Pokemon Go fans (Pokefans? Pokenuts?) tonight and had a wonderful time. It is what we have been looking for to get us to amp up the walking. My husband had a great idea, yessiree!!!

  186. Yasssssss so much yasss for the reasons you’ve mentioned and more. My last post was on pokewalk essentials. Keep catching! #teaminstinct

  187. As if I needed a reason to love you more, thanks for making these nerdy things okay. It is hard being a nerd in my real life circle because noone here understands the appeal and although it is sometimes cute to be the wierd one it can also get very draining for a now almost 40 yr old woman :). It is super reasuring to know that it is not only me who enjoys these things (Not only pokemon but things like Dr. Who, reading to excess, etc.) whether or not my family and friends “get it” and that even as I am forced to adult, does not mean that my weirdness is suddenly not okay 🙂

  188. I’ve been singing the praises of this game to anyone who will listen. It really has gotten my homebody kid out of the house and into the world (well, the library. It’s the only place with reliable wi-fi near us.) Thank you for adding your voice about how good this game is!

  189. I tried downloading this and it froze up on my phone immediately. I’ve since heard that it may have been pokemon’s servers, not my phone. I obviously need to try this again.

    Must catch pokemon!!

  190. I’ve found that it’s easier for my ADHD self to “see” messes when there’s a cartoon in the foreground, so I’ll play PoGo in my house even though I am out of Pokeballs. There’s a pidgey in my room. When I go to bed, it lands squarely on my crotch every damn time with the legend, “No Poke Balls.” And I nod sagely back at it. “That is good advice, strange little bird. I will not poke balls. I am a lesbian. It would be counter-productive.”

  191. I have noticed that there is more variety of Pokemon at night. I was trying to drive home from the store a mile away. (Yes, have it running while I drove to hatch eggs. I don’t look at it.) And every hundred feet was buzzzz. Pokemon you have never seen before. I had to turn it off.

  192. I’m still giggling about Pony Danza, and am now determined to pun name all my Pokemon. So far, Mary Puppins (growlithe) and Filly Joel (ponyta) are my favorites.

    This game is the best distraction from painful health stuff I’ve found.

  193. It’s sure helps me, getting me talking to strangers and actually interacting with life, even in a small rural town (why so few Pokemon? whhhhhyyyy???). (And yet so many Pokemon when I was just in the hospital, including a gym that was not only held by my team the entire time I was hospitalized, but I could reach the gym from my bed. Dartmouth-Hitchcock has my love now.)

  194. Pony. Danza. I’m dying here. Thank you a thousand times. Bwahahahaha still laughing….

  195. YOU HAVE A MUK AND A PERSIAN?! Girl, you are killing it.

    And I agree with everything you said. I’ve met a few of people who think it’s tearing people apart, but I think they’re clearly mistaken.

  196. Pony Danza killed me. Mainly b/c now, instead of singing “hold me closer, Tony Danza” , I’ll be singing “Hold me closer, PONY Danza” (yes, I know, it’s tiny dancer, but Tony Danza is just better lol)

  197. You are SO right Jenny!! I love love LOVE POKEMONGO! Did you notice if you type it all in caps it looks like some kind of dance in Jamaica? I’m a cave dweller and PokemonGo (see what I did there?) is making me want to (gasp) WALK PLACES! Of course it’s 110 in Texas but so what? What’s a little heat stroke when you’re trying to CATCH ‘EM ALL!? I think I also find it nostalgic cause my son was little when Pokemon first came out and he loved them and I did too and now he’s 28 and we both play and he asks me what I’ve caught lately and is all excited that I found a Bulbasaur and I’m like “you caught a Pikachu?? I want a Pikachu!” It’s wonderful. And now I hear there are a bunch of Pokemon hanging out down on our small town square so some night soon in gonna take my 10-yr-old granddaughter down there (a cave dweller in her own right) and by crackey we are GONNA CATCH ‘EM ALL and make some awesome memories! Tomorrow I’ve got to find some stops cause I’ve run out of Balls!! But at least I’ve still got most of my marbles.

  198. Yesterday I was thinking almost the same thing. I’m a counselor and I’ve had the same middle school boy for a few years. We tread water but nothing has really helped. Until Pokémon Go….while waking to a Pokestop and hunting a Fearow, he STARTED A CONVERSATION ON HIS OWN! I walked right into a garbage can in shock, totally worth it.

  199. I have to admit I do love this stupid game, but also my 3.5year old daughter named her new my little pony/unicorn “Pony Danza”. There is a super adorable video of her telling us about Pony Danza if you ever want to see.

  200. I was so excited to try this to get myself out of the house, but my phone is too old to use the app. I downloaded it on the iPad and was totally going to be that person walking around looking like they’re taking photos with their iPad but the GPS was all messed up and I couldn’t fix it. Now I can’t walk anyway and actually want to leave the house but can’t because there are too many stairs. Cruel irony.

  201. hi Jenny-
    i just wanted to say that i really love all your books and cant wait for the next one (!!!) and i probrably should not be typing this since im like, 12, but, here i am. you are like my role model, even though you are probrably not the best role model for a 12 year old, but thats what makes you so perfect!! actually, i found you as an author while i was looking for something in my parents room.” not snooping”. dont judge me. at least i didnt find a condom or something. god, that would be a kids worst nightmare.just, wtf. no one wants to know that. jesus. and then i found your book and started reading it, and half the time i wasnt reading, i was laughing so hard i couldnt breathe and i started to get cramps, and then i just never stopped! and when i brought it to school (oops) all my friends looked at it, and got hooked. sorry, i just reread that part. excpecially my friend Sean. and for some reason your new word, concoctulated popped into my head, so im gonna say that too. oh, imagine my teachers if i said that. you know what? fuck it. i’ll do it. ill let you know what happens.i go to a cotholic school, so it should be interesting 😉 wow, this comment is all over the place. i am constantly quoting you. sorry. that was uot of the blue.anyway, this was just supposed to me me saying i love you and please do a book signing/reading in albuquerque, New Mexico, (oh, yeah. please do that) but i got sidetracked. twice. anyway, THE END

  202. I haven’t been on your blog for a while but I was so excited to see you were playing PokemonGo because I’ve had the exact same experience with it! It was released while I was visiting my sister in another city and she had to work during the day, so I would be in her apartment scared to go outside and deal with an unusual setting while hating myself because it was an amazing city and there were lots of things to do. Then I downloaded the app and was like “outta my way mofos, for I must be the very best that no one ever was!!!!” She’d be coming home from work at night and it would be 8 degrees celsius and I’d be out pounding the pavement because there was a Squirtle on my tracker even though my hands were freezing up a bit, which made it hard to throw the balls. And, of course, all the exercise made me feel better too! I actually thought of you at the time, like “I hope the Bloggess is on to this because it’s so good for people with mental health issues. She needs to write a post!” I was worried about going back to uni for my final semester because I have heaps of anxiety associated with it, but now I just slope off across campus to catch the Charmander hanging out near the library, with a slight nod to all the other people stealthily doing the same thing. My highlight was probably catching a Gastly at night in a cemetery from the 1800s that had been converted into a playground and was full of small frolicking children and dogs. You would have loved it. I look forward to reading about your pokeventures in the next book.

  203. Also, when I was sick in bed and couldn’t go out hunting I renamed all my Pokemon to end with ‘poo’ creating such classics as ‘squirtypoo’, ‘jigglypoo’ and ‘gastlypoo’. Because I’m an adult…

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