Sideshow’s Week in Geek: Pokémon Go!

Sideshow’s Week in Geek spotlights some of the cool and exciting ways Sideshow employees share our lifestyle as pop culture fans on and off the clock.  This week- Pokémon Go!

Sometimes, letting your Geek Sideshow is best done with friends who understand that in order to be the best (like no one ever was), you’ve gotta catch ’em all and battle your way to the top.  That’s right- Pokémon Go, the mobile gaming phenomenon from Niantic and The Pokémon Company, is still going strong among Sideshow staffers.

Players range from casual Pokémon fans to dedicated strategists, all working together (or sometimes battling head to head) to become master trainers and complete their Pokédex entries.  Regardless of when players began their Pokémon journey, the game has proved a fun community experience for Sideshow staffers who are inspired to get outside, trade tips and tricks, and enjoy the game to the fullest.

We asked a few players to share their experiences with the game, reveal their favorite Pokémon, and more…

How long have you been playing Pokemon Go, and which of the three teams in the game did you join?

“I downloaded it the day it released out of mild curiosity, but it has since turned into a feverish obsession. (TEAM MYSTIC 4EVAAAAA!!!1!)” –Kiana

“I started playing as soon as it was released, but I stopped playing for about a year or so when the in-game Pokémon tracker had stopped working. I recently picked it up again several months ago and have been playing obsessively since. I am in Team Mystic!” –Kelly

“Been playing since the day it went live! They didn’t have the teams then, but I eventually joined Team Valor.” –Daniel

“I’ve been playing since day one. I picked Team Instinct. It sounded cool at the time, but somehow evolved into the lamest of the three. It’s a blow to my ego every time I open the app.” –Jeremy

“I’ve been playing since launch (and even played Ingress, which laid the groundwork for the augmented reality game we all know as PoGo today). I’ve been a faithful member of the Mystic squad since they launched the teams, which nowadays seems like it might be the most popular team in our area.” –Nick

“I’ve been playing since day one! I had stopped for about a year at one point, but now I’m all in again. Goooo, Team Mystic!” –Amy

Have you previously played any other Pokémon games?

“I played Red, Blue, and Yellow for the Game Boy. Fun Fact: Ten year old Jeremy beat the Red Version while waiting in line at Taco Bell. Shout out to Taco Bell.” –Jeremy

“Sapphire was the first Pokémon game that got me hooked, and I played many of the Pokemon games that were released after that (although I haven’t finished them all…). I played Pokémon Snap and Pokémon Stadium on the N64. I also am a huge fan of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games. I love that you get to play from the perspective of wild Pokémon instead of as a human trainer – a really fun and unique change from the classic Pokémon games!” –Kelly

“I started with Pokémon Blue on Game Boy Color, and have since played a ton of the games. Some of my favorites are Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, Pokémon Crystal, and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire.” –Kiana

“Yes, I’m big fan of the entire series, and have been since it started.” –Daniel

“I’ve been playing Pokémon games since Pokémon Red (Charmander was my first) all the way back in 1996 on the grey dinosaur known as the Nintendo Gameboy, though I have skipped a generation here and there.” –Nick

“Yes!  I started on the Gameboy Color with Pokémon Yellow.  I’ve played a game from every generation, and some of the spinoffs like Pokémon Pinball, the Mystery Dungeon games, Stadium, Colosseum, all that good stuff.  My most cherished games are Crystal Version, because that was the first game in which I ever trained a full team of Pokémon to level 100, and Ruby Version, because the aesthetics and music of that one are my favorite.” –Amy

What do you enjoy most about Sideshow’s Pokémon Go community?

“It’s a pretty easy going group, and it’s nice to have a team of friends to help take down those big boss raids.” –Daniel

“Our local PoGo community has a ton of members. We even have a Discord group setup that helps people connect where we can organize raids and community day events as well as coordinate friend leveling (gotta get that double XP).” –Nick

“It give those of us who play an excuse to hang out.” –Jeremy

“When I stopped playing, I quickly fell behind on gameplay mechanics and new features.  I like having knowledgable players to help me relearn the ropes, and it gives us something to have friendly competition and also team-building about!” –Amy

“I appreciate having company to battle in raids and take down gyms! The best thing about Pokémon Go is how it encourages you to meet up with friends and go places you haven’t been before.” –Kiana

“When I first started playing Pokémon Go, I was in college and only had a few friends on campus that really played, and they stopped playing the game pretty early on. So it is really great to have a community here at Sideshow that plays regularly and teams up for raids. The game is definitely waaayyy more fun when you have awesome friends to play it with!” –Kelly

Does Pokémon Go motivate you to get more active?

“Yes!  I’ve gone out on long walks just to make sure I don’t lose my weekly Pokémon streaks on days when I’m feeling lazy.  Pokémon games usually make me want to lay at home on the couch and play, but this game is much more satisfying when I get outside and take an active role in it.” –Amy

“Yes, absolutely!!! Lately I have been taking morning walks on the weekends to the Pokéstops around where I live, and I probably would have never started doing that if it weren’t for this game.” –Kelly

“Yes! I’ve been walking a lot more since I started playing.” –Daniel

“Not really, laziness always prevails. Even if it means missing out on some Pokémon.” –Jeremy

“Absolutely. I can say with confidence that Pokémon Go is the only video game that ever has convinced me to walk 25K steps in a day.” –Kiana

“I definitely feel like I walk more now that I have something entertaining to keep track of while I’m outside. I’ve hatched over 500 eggs since launch and have walked somewhere around 500 km.” –Nick

What is your favorite Pokémon?

“That’s a tough one. If I had to choose I’d have to go with Lucario. He’s loyal and happens to be one of my favorite fighters in Super Smash Brothers.” –Nick

“I always come back to Ditto, because it can be every other Pokémon with a goofy little face.  Plus, it’s the cutest!  But all the water-type starters are also my favorites- especially Mudkip, Squirtle, and the often-overlooked Totodile.” –Amy

“Vaporeon has been my number one fave of all time. But Mudkip comes close second – I love his goofy smile and his teeny tiny legs.” –Kelly

“That’s tough. I would say Mew or Milotic.” –Daniel

“This is a tough question… like asking me to pick a favorite child… so here’s the shortest list I can come up with; Gengar, Clefable, Alakazam, Venusaur, Mawile, Lapras, Muk, Garbodor, Poliwhirl, Trevenant, Chansey, Heracross…” –Kiana

“Easy… Pikachu.” –Jeremy

Anything else at all that you’d like to add?

“The game has changed and grown so much since it first released two years ago. So if you played before, and have since lapsed, give it a try again! You’ll be glad you did.” –Daniel

“If you haven’t tried the game out, give it a shot, you might like it even if you haven’t played the originals. Use it as an excuse to get out and move around while playing a game at the same time.” –Nick

Big thanks to the Pokemon players who shared their experiences with us this week!  Be sure to check out our last Week in Geek, where Sideshow’s film aficionados revealed their favorite movies to screen as Sideshow’s Cinephiles.

How have you Let Your Geek Sideshow this week?  Let us know in the comments.