Where have all the adults gone?
I’m well aware of a large number of recent tragedies and moments of political upheaval that may well go onto have global repercussions, and a skilled writer would be able to generate an engaging an interesting article on any of these things. However, I am not a skilled writer, nor are the large majority of bloggers, yet it hasn’t stopped them. So instead of being another self-important piece on the cabinet reshuffle or terrorist atrocities, where I try and show how politically engaged and intelligent I am, I’m going to write another self-important piece on Pokemon Go.
Being roughly 24-25 (I honestly don’t know, I keep having to text my dad to find out), I existed in what you might call the Pokemon generation. You will notice I refuse to use the accented e. as Poke-Mon sounds cooler, like a Star Wars character. I watched the series, collected the cards, used cleverly worded tricks and promises to swindle my friends out of good cards in exchange for bad ones and even played the games. I used to dream about belonging in the world of Pokemon, so I can leave home at the age of 11 and wander the world, beating wild animals to the point of submission before keeping them in cramped conditions for lengthy periods and occasionally forcing them to fight others. So why, when I heard tell of a new augmented reality game that incorporates the real world and those scientifically questionable monsters, why was I not the least bit interested?
It turns out, it’s because I’m roughly 24-25. I have moved on. Pokemon was a huge part of my childhood and there it remains, for the very same reason I no longer hang out at The Ditch and pretend to be a Power Ranger.
Aside: The Ditch was a place situated between my house and the house of a good friend of mine. It was, as the name suggests, a large overgrown ditch, in which one might find a trolley, or on a good day, the door to a tumble dryer.
This week, I have been forced to endure endless conversations about Pokemon, where to find them and the where the gyms are situated. One heavily bearded “adult” passionately exclaimed how he found an Eve (spelling may not be correct) outside KFC. Grown men and women, with jobs and who pay tax venture out on their lunch hours in the hopes of finding that elusive Pigeott.
Why? Where have all the adults gone? When did we become this nation of the perpetual child? It’s strange, unnerving even. I’m accused of being miserable, pretentious even. I’ve even been accused of trying to ruin everyone’s fun, simply because I don’t get excited over the idea of using my phone camera to see a fictional worm sitting on my desk! Madness! Madness I say!
Someone even tried to defend it by saying, and I quote “It’s good though, because it’s helping me lose weight, because before I wouldn’t bother going out, but now I’m going for walks in the evenings to try and catch Pokemon.” He says this with a serious expression etched onto his features. Pokemon… convincing someone to go outside and walk to combat weight gain? Why is being a fat shit not inspiration enough?
It was recently reported that two people fell off a cliff whilst playing this game. I laughed. Admittedly as I continued to read I felt bad for doing so as they were really hurt, but that’s the news paper’s fault for starting an article simply saying that some people fell off a cliff because they were too busy looking at their phones. Once upon a time this might have featured in a satirical sketch show, but no, so engrossed in this endless obsession of ‘catching ‘em all’ people are walking off cliffs, off piers, strolling into the waiting arms of angry bears, crashing planes and all sorts.
It’s not just the current Pokemon Go fad that makes me feel this way. Recently, the Deadpool film hit the cinemas and people loved them. This comic book adaptation had an 18 rating, meaning it was intended for adults. I’ve not seen it, it may well be a clever dig at the superhero trend and Hollywood’s obsession with churning them out. I did see Captain America 2 not long ago. It was alright, but the story was (if one liked to over analyse) one of post 9/11 espionage and government policy and the changing nature of war and global threats and how we are all at risk of accidentally surrendering power to sinister, totalitarian regimes and organisations in the name of security, this is clearly not a theme aimed at children. It was still Captain America, and one in a never ending list of films about costumed folk beating up badguys in whatever form they come, which adults spent their hard earned money on watching.
Why WHY! Why can’t we just grow up like people did in the good old days, where they reached the age of twenty-two, decided their days of having fun were over and started wearing jumpers?
Because… the good old days.
Nostalgia, that’s what it is. We yearn for the carefree days of playing the Pokemon games, swapping the cards. Nostalgia is a good feeling. But Nostalgia is also dangerous! It’s more addictive than any drug. Just walk into a building and say “do you remember the Crash Bandicoot games?” and watch everyone go mental.
It can ruin lives nostalgia. People get so lost in the past they forget they’re in the present, they don’t see the future charging towards them before it’s too late and they’re dead. I lost my father to nostalgia, I asked him what school was like in the 70s. His eyes glazed over, he let out a long breath as he travelled back through time several decades. He’s been trapped in the 70s ever since. It’s a genuine fear of mine that he’ll try and do something differently and the paradox that ensues would leave me fading out of existence.
“So what do you do that’s so much better than this eh? If you so begrudge free independent people their moments of thoughtless entertainment in a world of constant uncertainty and woe?” I hear the Pokemon Go players screaming.
Well, I drink a lot, and when I’ve run out of money for drinking, I masturbate.