I have to admit, before today, I didn't really even know what a Pokémon actually was, or why it was suddenly all over my social media feeds. I was 12 when Pokémon first blew up in North America, but it wasn't really my style, so all this time my knowledge of the game has been limited to the notion that it was some kind of video game for kids, that also had something to do with trading cards. So why now, in 2016, are my grown-ass friends tweeting about catching Pokémon on vacation, or while walking their dogs after they get home from work? If these 12 best Pokémon Go memes are any indication, it's clear people are getting hooked on this game.
Some important background info for anyone else out there who still doesn't quite under WTF a Pikachu is: Pokémon is a now-20-year-old video game from Japan about a bunch of little "pocket monsters" you are supposed to catch and tame, and apparently fight with (I still don't understand that very well). It caught on like wildfire in Japan, according to Vox, and then again pretty much everywhere else in the world, and spawned other incarnations, like a TV show, trading cards, movies, and of course, merchandise. But all these years there has been one thing Pokémon fans have been dreaming about, which is to live in a world where Pokémon catching could actually be a real thing. "On it!" Ninendo finally said, and in July, Pokémon Go (a game you can download on your phone for free) was released.
Using your phone's GPS, you can "catch" Pokémon in a virtual representation of your own actual surroundings, during ho-hum daily activities like going to work, picking the kids up from school, or hitting up Chipotle on your lunch break. Just make sure you have everything you need to get started:
And brace yourself for the judgment of others:
The good news is, you'll probably end up in great shape with all that running around:
Just, you know, don't forget to pay attention:
And prepare for the possible friction that could develop in your real-life relationships:
And prepare to be pretty addicted once you get started:
Although you might want to be sure to choose the right time and place, unlike this man, who caught a Pidgey while his wife was in labor, according to Buzzfeed (luckily for him, his wife was very understanding.)
And for the love of all that it is good, be careful:
Just as important, try not to let your Pokémon obsession keep you from remaining employed (it'll be hard, I know):
Meanwhile, the rest of us will spend our time wondering if we've been sent through some kind of time warp:
For now, I think I'll try to fight the urge to download Pokémon Go and try it out myself. Because honestly, this game seems intense.