At this point, you already know what Pokemon GO is, and probably see Rattatas in your dreams. I’ve been playing for a week and I now have to pause and remind myself of the difference between reality and augmented reality when I see a regular bird chilling on a curb, and my first instinct is to grab my phone and flick a virtual ball. There have been naysayers, of course. But I’m having a great time. A (poke)ball.

Playing this game has caused me to do several things I’d never have otherwise done. For instance, I purchased a pair of walking shoes on Amazon. And they’re not even pretty. I only cared about how comfortable they’d be as I walked around town, gathering goodies at Pokestops. I don’t even know who I am anymore. Here are a few other concerning side effects I’ve encountered:

  • I went to a park. On purpose. And I accidentally got a tan.
  • I said the sentence, “Let’s go for a walk at lunch.” And then I WENT for a walk.
  • I intentionally spoke to and fist bumped 21-year-old partygoers while driving them in my Uber-mobile, because I overheard them talking about Team Mystic and I, of course, am Team Mystic.
  • I finally understand the Michigan/Michigan State rivalry, because I’ve been mean-mugging strangers on the street when I hear them say either Instinct or Valor.
  • I’ve been asking people “what level are you on?” with absolutely no trace of irony.
  • I left my house again after already sitting down (I know) and walked around the block to catch a Zubat that was “nearby”.
  • I stood directly in front of my neighbor’s porch for fifteen minutes before realizing he was sitting in a rocking chair, staring at me. And then I just ran away.
  • I suffer intermittent rage blackouts when the game freezes on the loading screen.
  • I, as a completely sedentary (lazy…I’m just lazy) person, chose to walk the mile downtown to a meeting instead of driving.*

After a week, I’ve managed to log in quite a few kilometers of walking. I have no idea how much that is in real distance, but I can imagine it’s probably somewhere around 500 Miles. I’m talking to strangers in a friendly manner instead of just raising my eyebrow and thinking rude things about them. I’m exploring my neighborhood and creeping out my neighbors. I’m having the time of my life with Pokemon GO.

*I walked a block and a half then sat down on a bench and called an Uber. But whatever, my neighborhood is VERY hilly.