If you don’t know what Pokémon Go is, you probably either live under a rock, or you are the rock (Geodude?)… It seems to be all over right now, on every news site and all over social media.
So, as almost half of the rest of the world, I had to give this game a try. Compared to when Pokémon was big when I was a kid, it is now acceptable for people of all ages to play this game. That is a thing Pokémon have in common with geocaching. Geocaching is definitely for people of all ages!
But what else do these two games have in common? And why do I think geocaching is so much better? (Yes, I do. But even if you don’t I hope you will still find this article interesting.)
If you like Pokémon Go, great! Have as much fun as you possibly can! But you may also end up enjoying geocaching even more – if you dare give it a try…
I haven’t been playing Pokémon for very long, but I’ve been geocaching for more than 4 years. And I don’t think that I will play Pokémon 4 years from now. I actually don’t think anyone will continue to play this new game 4 years from now. So, what makes geocaching so much better?
First I want to go through what makes Pokémon Go great. Because it is great, for what it is. Probably the best thing about it, it gets people outside! People get to explore, at least a bit, more of this wonderful world we live in. Even if they spend 90% of the time looking at virtual monsters on their cell phones, they get a few glimpses of the real world as well. And yes, you do meet other people. Between walking and waiting for Pokémons, you can be social.
As a geocacher, the two things that annoy me the most with Pokémon are the randomness and the server problems / no offline functionality. With geocaching, I know exactly where I’m going – I have the coordinates! And I don’t have to rely on a server being online, and me being online and able to reach it. As long as I have the coordinates, I can still go find the cache. That is definitely not the case with Pokémon! In the short time I’ve played, I’ve had more issues with server faults/overload, than I have the 4 years I’ve been geocaching.
The excitement of finding a new Pokémon is awesome, but for the most, you find the ones you’ve found before. This feeling of achievement is what fuels Pokémon, and partly also geocaching. Imagine that excitement, times a hundred, each and every time you find a cache. Some caches are awesome, some are epic and some are literally out of this planet (yes, there’s one on ISS). The excitements of finding one of those are even higher. Sharing that with a good friend makes it even better. You have to try it to really understand it.
There is one thing that is better with Pokémon. As long as you live near a stop, or want to pay for pokécoins, you can play as much as you want in the same area – over and over again. You don’t do that when geocaching, you seek out new places every time (unless someone of course places a new cache a place you’ve been before).
But seeking out new places is also one of the many things that make geocaching so awesome. I don’t foresee anyone ever planning a holiday abroad, to go catch Pokémons! But I plan holidays and minor trips abroad to attend events or go geocaching on a regular basis.
Pokémon is a single player game compared to geocaching; even though you all play in the same playing field, you never physically play together with anyone. Being a group really helps when you want to find that difficult geocache (yes, we have different geocaches, just like there are different Pokémons). Or the one that’s high up in a tree, so high that you need someone else with you just for security.
The thing I was really missing while visiting a Pokéstop a few days ago, was the ability to upload pictures of the amazing view of the sunset, and being able to write a few words in the log. There’s no such thing while playing Pokémon…
Geocaching make us travel to amazing places, and enables us to meet amazing people. People from all over the world, in all shapes and ages.
So, will I continue to play Pokémon? Maybe, maybe we’ll continue to do it while walking the dog around the neighborhood. At least we have a Pokéstop we can walk to…
I love location based games, and I think it’s awesome that people make and play them. But I don’t see anything that’s even close to the awesomeness of geocaching! Munzee is in a good second, but only as a supplement to geocaching.
I do hope everyone that enjoys location based games, no matter which one or how many, do so in a responsible and safe way. Please don’t risk your own or other peoples lives! And please respect local laws, other peoples property and the people around you. Being a responsible and respecting player is important to all these games!
I’m perfectly okay with people disagreeing with me, I hope you all enjoy you hobby – whatever it is. As long as you love doing what you do – keep doing it!