Before I go into this, let me say, I am a Pokémon fan. Or at least I thought I was.
I’ve collected the cards, I still buy and play all the games released on the Nintendo handheld consoles, I watched the anime until the end of the Best Wishes season (in Japanese, thank you very much. The English voice actors are just annoying) and I was very interested in Pokémon Go when I heard about it. I even downloaded the APK file as soon as it was available, but deleted it soon afterwards.
As all the eager Malaysians know, Pokémon Go has still not rolled out officially in this country. Rumours on the web for release dates range from in two days to the beginning of or mid-August. However, honestly, when it really does launch, I’m starting to doubt that I will even bother to play it at all. Maybe I will if my editor forces me to, for the sake of an article. Hah.
These anti-Pokémon Go feelings are not helped by the frenzy that has been whipped up among the Malaysian community which has become so desperate to get their little Poképaws on it and becomes real Pokémon trainers and be the very best and all that.
I’ve decided to collect proof that the Pokécraze is getting over the top, and we Malaysians need to get a hold of ourselves. It’s embarrassing. Our Singaporean neighbours are also slavering to get a bite of the Poképie, so can we be a little bit better?
1. Fan Groups. EVERYWHERE.
Facebook. Google+. Reddit. Your neighbourhood mamak. These groups are mushrooming up and the game isn’t even here yet. I shudder to think of what will happen once it actually lands. Will we have turf wars? Team Magma and Team Aqua-like thuggery and thievery? You may think I’m exaggerating, but you see…
2. Teams Are Already Being Formed
Not going to go too much into it, but basically, when you hit level 5, you get to choose to be part of one of three teams, Team Valor, Team Mystic or Team Instinct. The symbols of these teams are tied to one of the three original bird legendaries, Zapdos, Moltres or Articuno, who come in the colour codes of Yellow, Red and Blue, respectively.
This choice is purely arbitrary, in that it doesn’t affect what sort of Pokémon you can encounter and catch. However, when it comes to Gyms (for the uninitiated, these are a sort of ‘fort’ that you can capture and hold), that’s where teams come into play. If you go to a Gym held by your team member (e.g. Team Valor), you can support him or her. If it’s held by an opposing team member, then you can attack and attempt to take over that Gym.
Emotions are already running high about these three teams overseas, and it looks like Malaysians are already going for that too, despite not even having the game yet. Right now, it looks like Team Instinct is receiving the short end of the stick, with everyone else coming down hard on it, but the Malaysian chapter seems to be quite optimistic about its chances yet.
3. Desperate Pleas On The Nintendo Forums And Almost Everywhere Else
I’m not going to take a screen grab because I feel their dignity has already been lost and we should not kick people when they’re down. However, is pathetically begging for a game to be released online really what you want to look back on once all this hype is over?
4. T-SHIRTS? Like why??
Again, the t-shirts are linked to the teams explained earlier. It’s not just that there are t-shirts, but that numerous printers have already jumped onto the bandwagon and there are multiple designs available.
Remember, all this is before anyone is even able to choose the team in their game yet.
5. The Memes. Oh God, The Memes.
It’s not just the new memes that are popping up. I’m seeing every single Pokémeme from the beginning of time being recycled and shared all over our social media and chatgroups. I like a good meme myself, and some do elicit a chuckle, like the MGAG album here.
For everything else? Guys, let’s just take a chill pill and wait it out.
Smell ya later! Praise Helix!
Feature Image Credit: Edited screenshot from Wong Fu Productions video.