Story time with Stacy and Katrina:
It seems like everyone is having one of these the last few days and mine is no better or worse than any others. But mine is special to me because of Katrina.
Set the way back machine for 2010 give or take. Kat was complaining she didn’t have any friends to go and hang out with on the weekends. Apparently hanging out with the coolest dad in the world wasn’t enough. I told her there is tons of fandom type events every week you could try so we picked a couple and off we went. First up was pokemon tournaments at the local game stores. She did ok but got nervous and had problems talking to people. She also didn’t like losing but I’m not sure where she got that trait. Then we tried the Tulsa Anime group and she sat in the corner not talking to anyone. Sure, people came up to her and tried to talk and while she didn’t run away screaming into the night I could see the terror in her eyes. She would try to get me to go in with her and such. Maybe I was too mean but I told her no. This was something she wanted to do and she would have to figure out how to talk to people and stand on her own two feet. End result is after a couple of attempts at this she basically retreated into her computer further than I could reach. But I was sure she would find her way back out eventually.
Fast forward to 7/12/2016 and Katrina is back at my house for a while after her pancreatitis hospital stay. I get home from work and we all pile into the van and drive around with our Pokemon Go app. We stumble across a pokestop where someone has dropped a lure so there we all are trying to catch them all. When we stopped there was maybe 2 or 3 other people down the hill. Within 5 minutes the parking lot was full. And by full I mean maybe 6 or 7 cars total. And then it happened . . . I don’t know if Kat was smelling the incense or eating the pokemon candy or what. But she got out of the van and started talking to people. RANOM PEOPLE! People who when I saw them made me double check the car was locked (thank you fear mongering on national news). She was being a social butterfly and I half expected her to beat on her chest while waving her arms in a sweeping motion and claiming everyone as part of her tribe. It was awesome. Back when Kat was 3 she would waddle around the mall and talk to everyone. Somewhere along the way life beat that good and trusting nature out of her. But it appears that being away from dad for the last 3 years she has found it again. Or at least she knows who she is again.
I cannot even begin to fathom what the potential social ramifications are for this game even if only 20 percent of players actually talk and respect each other. Maybe Gene Roddenberry’s vision wasn’t exactly right. Maybe it doesn’t take the near destruction of the world to pull us back from the brink, maybe it just takes a pikachu.