Since its launch, Pokémon Go has been the center of discussion all over the world. For those who don’t know, Pokémon Go is an augmented reality smartphone game. Essentially, the people at Niantic tried to re-popularized Pokémon and blew it way out of the park. The main idea of the game is to catch Pokémon as you walk around the city and then use them to battle other trainers in order to take over their gyms. It might sound strange, but it is easy to get sucked in when little Pokémon start showing up around you. If you aren’t already playing, you might have noticed random groups of people congregating in odd locations. Hint: they are all playing Pokémon.
Of course, Niantic must have known that their app was going to help connect people, considering you can only really use it outside of your house. What they probably didn’t know was that it was quickly going to become the most popular dating app. If you want to score a date, right now the best way is to catch Pokémon.
In order to catch Pokémon and participate in battles, you have to leave the house. While some creatures might show up while you’re on your couch, the majority will be farther away, causing you to actually get up and go outside. The Pokestops, where you can recharge your Pokeballs and get free potions are located at landmarks around the city. This includes museums, restaurants, statues, murals, etc. Chances are that you won’t have one right outside your house, so you need to head out to recharge. Same concept goes for the gym battles. You physically need to be close to the gyms in order to participate.
With this many people heading outside to play the game, you are bound to run into people. The Pokestops are located at landmarks, which means that the busier streets will naturally have more Pokestops. If you head to a busier shopping street or business district, you are bound to run into other players. You can tell by the people congregating outside virtual gyms and Pokestops. If you see other people playing the game, it gives you an icebreaker to start a conversation.
With the rise in popularity, there are actual meet-ups being organized. They are often scheduled on social media like local Facebook groups or Twitter, or they can be scheduled through a related chat app for Pokémon players (downloaded separately). If you join a local meet-up, you get to walk around the city in search of rare Pokémon with a group of people who are interested in doing the same. The groups are often filled with strangers, so it is the perfect opportunity to head there alone or with a friend and mingle with other players. If there aren’t any scheduled, you can always take the lead. One fun idea is to have a Pokémon Pub Crawl.
In the game, there are ‘lures’ which mean that you can use a potion to attract Pokémon to a specific area for 30 minutes. Occasionally you get the potions for free at a Pokestop, but they can also be virtually purchased with coins. You can use one of your lures in a public area to attract Pokémon, which will consequently attract players. Less creepily, there are occasionally promotional tactics from bars and restaurants who will drop lures throughout the night to attract customers. It is a great idea for the businesses, as well as having a casual spot to hang out and potentially meet a date. Bars are a great place to meet people anyway, and now you have the added bonus of not having to pick the conversation topic.
You can always challenge someone to a Pokebattle. There are three different teams (Instinct, Mystic and Valor), each with their own gyms. The trainers in each gym can battle other trainers as well. You have to be within close proximity to a gym in order to battle, so naturally you will be pretty close to each other. A great idea is to bet someone a drink if they win – you get to battle and then hang out afterwards.
Most importantly, you need to talk to the people who are gathered to play Pokémon Go. You can ask if they have tips, if they have found any rare Pokémon, if they used to play with Pokémon cards back in the day, etc. The game provides a natural pick up line, but don’t focus too intensely on it. Use the game to start the conversation and then move on to different topics. What is really awesome is that you know for a fact that whomever you approach will be willing to discuss the game. It can be a great icebreaker, but you still might have to take the lead.
It can be a bold but unintimidating move to ask someone to go on a hunt for Pokémon together. If you’re standing at a Pokestop or a gym, eventually that location is going to become bland. You can casually ask the person to continue your search for Pokémon together. “I was going to walk to the park to look for more, would you like to join?” All of a sudden you’re on a very casual stroll through the city. Alternatively, you can always arrange a Pokedate for another night. Exchange numbers and meet up to walk around the city in search of rare Pokémon. You don’t have to go to a fancy restaurant, just get to know each other while building up your Pokémon collection.
The best part about Pokémon Go is that you are meeting people face-to-face. It isn’t a typical dating app where you are judged based on your photo. You get to meet people with a common interest and have real conversations. The bonus is that it will be easier to get a phone number because everyone is already on their phones! So, if you want to catch a date, make sure to download Pokémon Go and get outside!
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