The first few days were so exciting.
After a few days of being one of the few who downloaded the game through a US iTunes account, everyone around me filled with excitement when the game finally arrived here in the Netherlands. At last, I wasn’t the only one jumping out of my seat to run downstairs every few minutes — that Charizard isn’t going to catch itself.
Why it’s on your phone
It’s a combination of nostalgia for one of the world’s favorite IPs and the new technology used in the game.
Pretty much everyone that grew up in the 90’s or 00’s knows Pokémon. Not everyone likes video games. But look at that trailer! Catching Pokémon in the real world? Count me, you, and 75 million others in.
If you’re a casual or non-gamer, the AR is a fun gimmick and makes for some great screenshots. And the location-based gameplay is new enough for most people to be excited about it.
But if you look closer, you’ll see that all these flashy features are trying to hide a dark, dark truth. It’s actually just another game that’s looking to eat up your time and money.
And it’s time to put an end to it.
You’ll never win
One of the biggest problems of Pokémon Go is that it’s not a skill-based game.
The main objectives are catching Pokémon, claiming Gyms and leveling up. None of these things have anything to do with skill — it’s only about how much time you have to waste. The more hours you spend walking around to gain XP, the quicker you get to find Pokémon with high CP that make it possible to conquer the Gyms.
There’s a way to skip the endless grinding, of course.
As with most free-to-play mobile games you can buy your way into a speed boost by spending real money on Pokécoins. This is the reality of playing a video game in 2016.
I deleted the app from my phone when I hit level 10, because I realized there will always be people with loads of time or a lot of money being better than me. I don’t know what the guy who caught them all does in his daily life, but it doesn’t seem to involve a job.
Do it now
It wasn’t an easy choice to delete the app from my phone.
I knew I only needed a few more Pidgeys to go on a double-XP spree that would let me gain at least two levels. But there’s no better time to stop than now.
The more time you put into something, the harder it gets to let it go. The more I bought into the endless grinding, the more I convinced myself it was worth it. I’m scared to think how it feels to hit level 20, or 30 — why would I ever drop something that I put so much time into?
This is the exact reason why it’s important to stop for a moment. What are you getting from this? Do you see yourself deleting the app anytime soon? Maybe in a few levels? Why not do it right now?
Reclaim your life
Imagine the time you’ll have when you break out of the loop right now.
Instead of anxiously walking around doing nothing, you could be learning a new language, or training other skills. You’re putting so much time into something that has no value in the real world.
Go to your home screen. Delete the app. Be free.
Are you still playing Pokémon Go? Did you already delete the app from your phone? Am I going insane? Tell me in the comments.