The Point…


The point of Pokemon Go, and of course any game, is to win.

How you win this game is up to one’s interpretation.

See, there’s the traditional way of winning, which is “having the most points.”

In Pokemon Go, that translates to gaining as many points as possible to become a level 40.

The account Kieran gave me started around a level 21. So, he says that it was easier for me to get to a level 40 so quickly, because he helped me out so much.

While this is true, it’s easy to acquire points to move up the lower levels.

Once you get to that last ten levels, it takes much longer.

With every pokemon you catch, you get points.

With every raid you complete, you get points.

If you open a “lucky egg” you get double points.

During certain “events” you can get double points, so you can now double those double points with a lucky egg.

When you give friends gifts, you get points.

When you become great friends and best friends, by playing with your friends (virtual) consistently (every day), you get lots of points that you can double.

I think I “won” this aspect of Pokemon Go both because of playing daily and never missing giving gifts and increasing my friend status faithfully.

And using lucky eggs at the right times didn’t hurt either.

The best part is that no one younger who finds out that I play ever expects me to say I’m a level 40.


The account that Kieran gave me was on the red team. I’m not supposed to call it that. I’m supposed to know the “real” names of the teams.

I’m looking it up now.

IMG_4244 2

I used to be on Team Valor. Each of the names means something, because Pokemon has been around a lot longer than the Go game (cards, cartoons, etc.) and has a whole story with characters with histories and legends, and on and on. Supposedly, Valor players are outgoing, among other qualities. It fit!

Kieran created a red account so he could help his other, blue, account when needed. Basically, if you get “stuck” in gym (which I will talk about later) like Kieran got stuck for almost a year (because no one visited that location after the summer), only someone from another team can “kick you out” of the gym.

However, it was kind of lonely being the only red team member in my family. Moreover, some of my colleagues at work were blue, like my sons.

Sometime last spring, the game made it possible to switch teams for a LOT of coins. You can only switch one time a year.

So I saved up my coins and changed teams. Now I am blue.


I mean Mystic. (You should see the boys when we are at a raid (will explain later) and they say, “Mystic, go in,” and I ask, “Is that me? Am I going in now?” They sigh big time).

But now we get bonuses for being on the same team when we play together. And, at least in Pokemon Go, I’m a bit more reserved, like a good blue team member should be.



I am an avid believer that if you just give anything new two weeks, it will seem more familiar and even, possibly, comfortable after that amount of time.

But in the beginning, this game actually scared me.

Literally, heart racing, and brain shutting down – scared.

As soon as I had an account, my middle son wanted to “go out” to play to locations where it was better to play than our house (our house gets some Pokemon because it is close to a “stop,” but not as much as the center of our town, for example).

I would view the screen, try to stay calm, but then a Pokemon would appear and I would actually feel scared. Or inadequate.

I would then hand my phone over to Kieran for him to play my game.

Sure, I learned by watching him, but he was sometimes frustrated because he was playing his own game.

I think he was also sometimes proud because he was an expert in this new thing to me and could teach me. With his brother, they usually “I knowed” each other, instead of teaching each other, even though Kieran played way more than Liam and was a higher level.

I did most of my practicing of the game at home when I could focus on just one aspect of the game – catching Pokemon. I could do this by myself and gain confidence for the next time we “went out.”

It looks like this:


This is Pikachu. He is one of the most recognizable characters in the game and there was a movie a year or so ago with his character. He is often on kids’ backpacks or t-shirts.

He doesn’t always wear a party hat – that’s for the new year.

Pokemon jump and move around. The ball is harder to “throw” than it seems.

So that was what I first focused on – playing slowly at home, and then watching and learning when I was out. And listening to my mentor.

Sounds like how I approached a lot of other new things in my life.

The Year I Played Pokemon Go


About half-way through last year, a year in which I dedicated quite a bit of time to playing Pokemon Go, I decided that it would make a great topic about which to blog.

So here goes…

This year’s Tuesday Slices of Life will be dedicated to describing the year I played Pokemon Go with my two sons, Liam and Kieran.

The first thing I thought I would write about is why I started playing Pokemon Go in the first place.

I knew that my sons played. My younger son often lamented that I wouldn’t drive him around to play more. That he had daily challenges and there were events he wanted to complete. Huh?

I really had no interest in playing and, in general, am bad at playing video games.

One night, however, we were sitting at my daughter’s basketball game. Kieran kept commenting about how there were many Pokestops (a way to play the game) at our location, but he couldn’t “play” any, because he didn’t have a device with a data plan.

Next thing I knew, I was saying, maybe I could play to get him “things.” I could spin Pokestops (I will explain this later, lol) when we only had access to our data and he did not, and then give him anything that he wanted (I will also explain this later).

He was so excited about this idea.

As soon as we got home (to WiFi), he changed one of his accounts (shh, having more than one account is frowned upon and considered cheating) and named it: MotherPi1. Yes, this is my Pokemon Go name, as Liam is SuperPi2 and Kieran is/used to be UltraPi3. These were video game names they gave themselves back when they started playing Mario Bros. games in elementary school.

I was “in.” I am MotherPi1!

And that’s really how it started. I really thought it would be a way to connect with my soon-to-be teenage son. I thought maybe it would be neat to learn about something that only they knew about and be welcomed into their world, maybe for the last time before they grew up.

And now I have a year’s worth of blogging topics so there is now a renewed reason to write.

Thanks for the opportunity.