I’m hooked to Pokémon Go. I played it the entire time I was in Puerto Rico. My friends would be staring at street murals and I would be half a block back shouting up “I’ve just got to get this Houndour!”
I did play a lot when the game first premiered last year and then it sort of fizzled out for me, but I’ve recommitted with a new fervor and intensity.
The friend I was visiting in Puerto Rico is at level 34 and they taught me a lot for which I am seriously grateful. We went on my first raid together, we took my first gym together, I learned about the PokeGenie app. All gamechangers. I’m going to share pieces of these gamechangers, but first, I just want to talk about all my PokeFeels.
Fantasies and Feelings
· I love Fairy Pokémon so much. The most. Forever and always. I’ve always thought Fairy types are the most femme of them all. As a young child who was placed in the ‘girl’ box, I was drawn to Fairy types from the jump and they were my entrance to Pokémon. Jigglypuff and Clefairy, these are my girls. But I’ve also always felt that Fairy types are made weaker in-game and that feels discriminatory and icky to me.
· If I were a Pokémon, it would be Marill. Water-Fairy types for the win. (#femmescorpiorising.) I mean, they’re basically mermaids. Azumarill is a fat perfect mermaid. You can’t tell me otherwise.
· Speaking of water fairy types, the actual mermaid one, Primarina freaks me out. I can't do mermaid meets clown. The only scarier Pokémon is Mr. Mime.
· On a different note, every queer person I know is Team Mystic. Crowd poll—is this true for you too? Why are all us gays into Mystic?
· Whenever I’m walking around playing Pokemon Go as my icon KikiEPearl, a masculine all-blue wearing BAMF, I picture my best self out in the streets catching ‘em all: long skirt, Doc Martens, lips and nails that could kill a man, etc.
· If you’re me, your main strategy is to collect every Fairy and Water type you ever stumble upon. No idea the in-game merits of this but it makes my heart warm and that’s what it’s all about. Cheers.
· A real-life tactic that is crucial for me are depression walks. When I’m trying to coax myself out of my bed and then out of my house, I’ll open Pokemon Go and then try to walk around until I hatch a 2K egg. It may sound like a little thing, but it has pushed me significantly and I am appreciative.
· My friend uses PokeGenie to find out the percentage of their pokemon and then names them that percentage so they can keep track. So that’s a neat trick I suggest.
· I can never figure out what things are for so my new strategy for this in PokemonGo is to just click things. Like if you click the berries twice, it tells you what they do. Revelationary!
· Other things I’ve recently found out after playing for a full year that maybe you might not know too: clicking the nearby Pokemon helps you track them, click your icon to see the gyms you’ve been to, every gym is now a Pokestop too, the “Appraise” feature will tell you if your pokemon is a wonder and that is a good thing!
· Get a beloved group together and take gyms with each other while looking and feeling good just for you. The other day I was at a local fair and walked up to a raid and it was some intense AMAB dudes who didn’t make eye contact but only glanced up from their screens to look at my body. No one wants to play in that environment! So bring your own group to have a good time, reassure you that you belong, and have guaranteed backup against catcalling.
· I’ve heard a rumor that if you wear the Magicarp hat you’re more likely to get a shiny Magicarp (those are the ones that turn into red Gyrados).
· This one is obvious, but go to richer neighborhoods because classism makes Pokestops scarce in a lot of poor places. Game imitates life.
· Lastly, play for you. It’s okay to fumble around; you’re still a worthwhile player. As a ‘girl,’ I’ve always felt if I didn’t get it right away, I couldn’t do it. And games can be really intimidating! But you can do it, there is no right or wrong, don’t listen to the mansplainers, and you will figure it all out. Now go catch ‘em all!
Here is my Espeon looking cute. (I kept Sakura because that’s how you get Espeons and I’m still obsessed with Naruto. I put (w) in front of the names of all my wonders to keep track A-Z.)