What Pokemon Go Taught Me About Black Lives Matter

Yeah, you read that right, the title of this article is “What Pokemon Go Taught Me About #Black Lives Matter.”  And believe it or not, this isn’t a joke, or a clever headline to lure you in with an unrelated article.  The truth of the matter is, the most downloaded cell phone game of all time in which you catch imaginary pocket monsters  by swiping your finger on your screen, helped me to realize a valuable lesson about the Black Lives Matter movement, that could actually be applied to many different issues.  How I came to this finding is the result of two completely separate stories, so let me attempt to explain.So Pokemon Go was released on a Thursday and took off like hot cakes.  That’s an expression right?  Either way, by Friday it felt like everyone was playing the game, and secretly hanging around pokestops while trying to looking like they were there for another reason. .  Well, by Saturday, the visceral hatred started to flow on social media, and come Monday it had spread to in-person interactions.  It seemed if you weren’t Instinct, Mystic, or Valor (Go Mystic) then you had to hate the game.  I even heard someone say, “I hate all this Pokemon stuff, I just don’t get it.” Cut to totally unrelated story number two.  An acquaintance was out to dinner and over heard two people at a table over having a discussion about Black Lives Matter.  This person then went home to post on Facebook that they were tired of hearing about “This” or “That” Life matters, can’t we all just get along as people.  Now, this was a well-intended comment, but it rubbed some people wrong as it seemingly dismissed the Black Lives Matter movement, and to some it was the same as saying “All Lives Matter.”  Long story short, many people got up in arms, arguments ensued, and eventually the whole issue went away. So after processing both situations, I came to the same conclusion.  It’s nothing spectacular, it’s nothing you probably hadn’t heard before, but I came to the conclusion that, “everything is not for everybody.”  This sounds simple enough, and I would imagine everyone right now is saying, “well obviously,” but for some reason this isn’t reality.  In the case of Pokemon Go, if you have no interest in the game, that’s okay.  You can either try to learn about it, or just be on your way.  The same goes for “Black Lives Matter.”  If you don’t like it, or you don’t agree, that’s okay.  You can either try to learn about it, or just be on your way.  There’s no need to get up in arms about something you may not understand, and you certainly don’t have to try to find a counter-cause to be a part of. So over the course of writing this article, a friend posted a different article about pro-wrestling, but it had the same conclusion I was essentially getting at, just better written.  So I’m stealing it.  Word for word. “Put simply, to quote my buddy Rob Springer from the Being Awesome podcast on the Radio Free Cybertron network: “Let people like things.” It may not be your thing, and that’s completely okay, but that doesn’t negate the perfectly valid reasons those of us that enjoy it have for making it ours.” 

Tony P. Henderson

Tony P. Henderson is a well traveled army brat who loves comedy and geek culture. After a stint in Los Angeles testing video games, performing comedy, and background acting Tony moved back to Georgia and hasn’t missed a Dragon Con since.

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