Man at His Best

An Open Letter To The Makers Of Pokémon Go From A Distraught Asian Fan

Fuck you Niantic.

BY BEATRICE BOWERS | Jul 15, 2016 | Technology

Dear Niantic,

When I was a kid, Pokémon was everything. I remember my mother coming back from work with a VCD one day (yes, they still existed back then, how wild!) and that silver disk was the harbinger of what would become a very beautiful childhood obsession. I had everything: the backpack, the cards, the theme song stuck in my head. Once, I even made my pet rabbit follow me around like Pikachu. It ran away, obviously.

Remember that scene where Ash protected Pikachu from the Spearow flock? That had more impact on the first seven years on my life than Titanic. That little electric rat breaking Misty's bicycle from his sheer will to protect his master was the emotional intensity that made my heart go on. 

So, when Nintendo announced it would collaborate with Niantic to release Pokémon Go, I instantly reverted to being a kid in front of the TV rapping the Pokémon Song, spitting bars harder than Busta Rhymes. It wasn't just me. Every Pokémon fan was right there, ready to rack up massive mobile bills just to feel like a child again. I played all the games prior to this. Like any ardent Pokémon lover, we saw the game grow from Ho-Oh to "Holy shit, this is amazing and almost real-life!"

A number of lucky countries have received Pokémon Go, and the rest of us were the neglected children waiting on the sidelines. It doesn't make any sense. What did they do to deserve Pokémon Go more than us? It's a bloody outrage. 

Two days back, a number of sites announced that inside sources confirmed Pokémon Go would be released today, when the Apple Store refreshed. I was ready, setting alarms every alternate hour past midnight so that when the time came, I could be one of the very first to be the very best. There were two portable chargers on my nightstand, charged and ready. There was one point in the night where I hallucinated that a colleague had phoned me to tell me Pokémon Go was out, and that he got a Mewtwo before me. It turned into a nightmare.

Despite the lack of Pokémon Go on the App Store today, I held on to the belief that it would arrive this weekend. It was a belief as strong as Jigglypuff's delusion it could sing to keep people awake. Then, Niantic decided to murder all hope with one earth-shattering statement: "The team is currently heads down working on the game. We do not have any announced plans for countries beyond New Zealand, Australia, US and Germany at the moment". 

I collapsed on my work desk, crumpling the list of my dream Pokémon team in hand. I would not be the Gym Leader of The Parliament House. Hell, I wouldn't even be able to hold a Zubat in my hands, and Zubat is the Pokémon equivalent of three-day old dried vomit. This was sadder than Marley & Me. 

Goddamn it, Niantic. We could have been so happy.

The Would-Be Very Best, That No One Ever Was.