LLANGEFNI, United Kingdom — Chris Smith’s breath forms clouds in the cold Welsh air as he walks down a rocky path near his home. He pulls his jacket up closer to his shoulders, his face squinting in the warm and unfamiliar light from the morning sun. He is on the search for Pokemon.
Around the world, thousands of otaku leave the comfort and aroma of their basement lair and step outside for the first time in years. All in the hunt for Pokemon. Much like the Pokewalker of seven years ago, Pokemon Go rewards players for doing anything other than sitting around and being sessile all day. The new phone game encourages players to move around and take an interest in the world around them by bridging the dull world of the disillusioned otaku with the world of Pokemon — an ideal world without difficulties, and with good waifu that you can capture and raise for your own.
Chris Smith admits his displeasure of his phone’s GPS feature. “Back in 2009 the Pokewalker was great. I could sit in the basement, play Soul Silver, and rock my foot back and forward and I’d level up my Flaaffy until she was proud of me,” Smith tells Anime Maru.
“Now Nintendo is trying to make me get back out there. Can’t they see I’m happy here?”
Chris’ hesitance is not unique to him. Police stations from around the world are reporting lost and distressed otaku unable to find their way back home. Forums across the internet are seeing similar complaints about the game, many of whom are questioning if it was worth going outside to play Pokemon Go. Many chose to stick with Love Live! School Idol Festival instead.
In other news, announcements have come from both Bandai and Nintendo that other apps are now in the works: Digimon: Move Around and Partake in Life! and Yo-Kai: Get Out There. In the announcement of these two games, were quick to claim that neither held any relation, or was a response to, Pokemon Go.