There will, now and forever, be things that catch on that leave many of us scratching our heads. From pet rocks to planking, things enter the pop culture zeitgeist and for a moment in time, you cannot escape them, even if you have no idea why this thing is suddenly everywhere.
Pokémon Go is not like that at all. The success of the app — which literally added billions of dollars to Nintendo's market worth — makes complete sense when you look at the state of things today.
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1. People love nostalgia, and Pokémon Go arrives at a time when the people most familiar and most in love with the franchise have smartphones.
2. It's not a particularly complex game, so even people unfamiliar with the franchise can jump in and still have fun because many people like the feeling of collecting things.
3. It's great escapism in a world that more and more seems to make less and less sense.
The question is, as with all fads, how long will this last? That is harder to predict, but anything that makes waiting in line at places is sure to have a fighting chance at sticking around for a while; after all, we all know someone who still plays Candy Crush on the regular. And even if it does burn out, those attending SDCC or GenCon or either of the political conventions or Disneyland in the near future will probably look back at this moment in time when the world seemed like it was on fire and there was no cell reception because everyone was hunting for monsters.
But that's the future. In the present, we spent some time with some local Pokémon Go fans at one of the first big meetups in Houston. Don't fret if you missed the PokeRaid; if your Facebook events list is anything like ours, you'll have many chances to get out and play with strangers.