Pokemon

2020 Recap and a Message From The Pokémon GO Hub

2020 has been an unprecedented year, to say the least. We all have had to adapt to new circumstances and situations together all while adopting a new social distancing protocol.

We as a society have developed newly found skills and talents with the free time we have been granted. Some may say it has been a blessing in disguise while others have been faced with overwhelming hardships.

Pokémon GO 2020 Recap

Niantic has changed Pokémon GO tremendously to stay on top of current worldwide situations and 2020 has been a great example of this change. Pokémon GO has gone from a purely outdoor experience to what is now a hybrid mobile game which factors in original outdoor mechanics and also with the introduction of indoor capabilities. The release of remote raiding, GO Battle League, global friendship interactions and other adjustments have shifted this change.

We as a community on a worldwide scale have found ways to maintain normality in an uncertain time. Pokémon GO has been a big part of many peoples lives this year and when people work together to introduce new standards for one another, it brings out the beauty within the destruction that 2020 has showcased.

We at the Pokémon GO Hub would like to remind everyone to stay safe. Yes, we know you’ve heard that a million times this year, but we mean it. Pokémon GO was originally intended to be an outdoor game and still to this day follows in its original idea. As mentioned before, Pokémon GO can be played indoors but obviously venturing outdoors has its benefits.

With the holiday season coming to an end, we are still uncertain as to how 2021 will play out, whether that be in Pokémon GO or in the real world. How about none of us say that 2021 will be our year and just take it slow and steady. Let’s see how things play out together since there are still restrictions in place worldwide in order to stay safe.

Take this article as a reminder for everyone, including you trainer, prioritise your safety and well being over anything. Don’t break any rules or restrictions for Pokémon GO. The best part about the game is that there are always more chances. What’s that? there’s a Charizard that has spawned just across the street? if you are in lockdown, do NOT risk getting caught and putting yourself and others in danger for a virtual monster. Play it safe.

Let’s Get Serious

Unfortunately, we have lost many good people this year. I’m sure by now you have heard headlines regarding the rise of depression and anxiety due to the stress of coping with loss and/or other uncertainties that 2020 has presented to us. There have also been stories on social media about Pokémon GO trainers we have lost this year either due to COVID-19 or other circumstances.

Remember that you are not alone. Grief is something that many of us will have to deal with at some point in our lives. It is a natural process and something that should not be ignored, it helps us learn to cope and move on from a disaster in one’s life. If you know someone is struggling, reach out, talk to one another and ask someone how they’re coping and if there’s anything you can do to help.

Love ends in loss for the ones left behind and grief is a natural response to losing what we cherish.

If it is you that is in the middle of grief, don’t be afraid to seek help. It will be the pull you need to escape a dark place and to understand and appreciate the beauty of life again. Keeping distracted is also a great way to deal with anxiety and pressure of day to day living.

John Hanke (CEO of Niantic), recently published a tweet on his personal account here that encourages the use of Pokémon GO to help combat Mental Health issues. Some key points mentioned in this article is that it highlights benefits to playing Pokémon GO including the encouragement to being outdoors, inducing light exercise, enhancing social ties, but new scientific research shows that it also may improve mood and cognitive ability.

A recent study indicated that those with a negative mood prior to playing Pokémon GO felt significantly better after gameplay. From experience, I can see that majority of the Pokémon GO community watches out for one another which is an amazing thing. I have heard countless stories of trainers helping others, and what better way to brighten up someone’s day than to show you care and are willing to help.

From all of us at the Pokémon GO Hub, remember that we are always thinking of YOU, yes you, reader. No matter what you’ve gone through this year or in your life as a whole, you are a fighter, you’ve lived through your worst days and have managed to keep your head above the water. Whatever mental health state you’re in, just know there is help, there is always someone willing to stop and listen, whether that be a friend, family member or counsellor. We will get through things together as a society.

Parting Words

Positivity is something we need on this earth, in times of hardship, positivity and having the right mindset is an exceedingly strong trait that can push any sort of boundary in one’s life no matter what has happened.

If there’s one thing we should take from 2020, it’s that we do have hope. We have learnt more about what it takes as a society to counteract something that impacts us all and the necessary steps required in order to eliminate threats such as COVID-19. We also have exciting new aspects of Pokémon GO to look forward to in 2021, things are slowly looking up and we will return to normality soon enough.

This article is in loving memory of a close friend of mine. Jimi Rattenbury was taken from this world on the 13th of December 2020 due to a tragic road accident. As hard as it is to write these words, he would be proud. At only 31 years of age, he was taken too soon. Jimi will always be remembered as a brother, a son and an amazing Pokémon GO player. Until we meet again mate. <3

-Adam ‘Avrip’

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