A friend happened to mention to me that he as his daughter have got really into Pokemon Go. They go out on walks together and yesterday he emailed to let me know he had caught ‘a Diglett, a Jigglypuff and a Clefairy while walking the dog’.

My son and his friends are currently obsessed with collecting, trading and stealing each others Pokemon cards at school, so I was curious to hear about this new game. And very jealous how easily he could now incentivize his children to go willingly on dog walks.

Apparently, it’s an app you download and then when you go out and about, you can find Pokemon (Pokemen?) all over the place through the app and catch them or battle them or do whatever one does with a Pokemon.

I was totally fascinated by this. So there are Pokemon wandering around and I can’t see them?

My daughter (source of knowledge now she is connected to snap-chat) told me that apparently the Pokemon people have placed them in all sorts of places all over the world. For example she told me the story of a man who bought an old church which he painstakingly renovated only to find out he had moved into a Pokemon battling ground. Now there are people lining up outside his out and trying to get into his garden all day long to do battle.

Pikachu has been spotted on Downing Street (no doubt will be a contender for our new totally random government), armed robbers are using Pokemon to lure people into isolated spots, they have caused chaos on the island of Rhodes and Auschwitz has had to publicly request that Pokemon players have a little more respect.

I am left curious and a little disturbed as to whether there is a Keffaflebong sharing my bed, a Whitleywodgit following me on my dog walks or a Finglyboobytrap playing with my kids. (Not an experienced player but these are the kind of names I would give Pokemons if I was in charge).

What’s fascinating to me about this is that we made something up.

We have an idea of something in our heads, and now some people experience them as real.

And now they have to take account of them in their day-to-day lives. They train their Yellowtypokes, they make sure they have time to battle their Whatjamjgs, they plan their holidays around catching the Fofflybottom they know can only be found in one island in Greece, and many are reporting they’ve never done so many dog walks in their lives.

(Perhaps we’ve found the cure for obesity after all? Who knew it would come in this form?)

Anyway, on with my point: We make stuff up in our heads then we live as if it’s real.

Other people have never heard of them and therefore they don’t exist in their lives. Thought creates reality.

All day, every day.

Living as if Pokemon is real is the same as living as if the future scary stories I tell myself are real, the fearful pictures I used to draw in my head about motorways are real and the tales I make up about how well/badly my business is going are actually true.

With Pokemon, we kind of know they are made up. But I could imagine a time when they co-exist alongside us all over the place as if they are actually real. They’ll have jobs, be part of our families and hopefully pay taxes.

For now, we see the illusion of them.

And then one day we won’t and we’ll just think of them as real.

It’s the same as our thinking about everything.

Until the moment we wake up again and see that they’re all made up.

That’s what Pokemon have to do with it.


PS They just released Pokemon Go in the UK today – I’m off to go Snaffleboot hunting.


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