It’s true, no matter how frustrated I become, I keep playing Pokémon Go. It’s become a habit that I just can’t shake. I keep my phone open to the Pokémon Go screen almost all day, which means my phone is plugged in almost all day. That can’t be good, can it?

It’s taken a while, but I’m finally a level 26 trainer, working hard at getting my 200,000 EXP to move on to level 27. If I do it straight up, it will take catching 2,000 Pokémon to move to level 27. Nothing is done straight up, so it will be a combination of PokéStops, evolutions, and other EXP bonuses that get me to that next level.

I keep asking myself why I continue to play. There’s no benefit to it. Niantic has done quite a bit to make the game a pain in the ass for higher level players, yet I keep coming back. No matter how hard they make it for me to catch low level Pidgeys and Rattatas, I keep playing!

Here’s the thing about it, I’m totally and helplessly addicted to the game. I am constantly wondering which Pokémon will appear on my screen next, which Pokémon will I be able to evolve, which Pokémon egg will hatch next, and what gifts will the next PokéStop bestow upon my trainer.  The curiosity about the next potential activity makes me keep my game open. All. Day. Long.

This can’t be healthy for me and I know I’m not setting a good example for my kids. When we go out to dinner somewhere, we don’t choose based on what type of food we’re hungry for. Oh no! We choose based on which restaurant has a PokéStop. If the restaurant doesn’t have one, I lobby that that we go somewhere with a PokéStop nearby. In fact, I’ve asked hostesses to switch our table so I can be within range of a PokéStop during the meal! Yes, I’m “that” guy.

The weirdest thing is, I can’t say that I particularly enjoy “playing” the game. The satisfaction I get comes from opening the Pandora’s Box of the next mystery Pokémon, PokéStop or egg. I rarely engage in gym battles or train. In fact, I haven’t even earned my first badge for training. The gameplay generally sucks and there is little thrill in actually catching Pokémon. It’s become a muscle memory type of activity, almost guaranteeing a Nice, Good, or Excellent level throw nearly every time.

When I’m not moving on to the next mystery, Pokémon Go is totally boring to me. In the down times, when nothing is happening, I just stare at the screen, hoping a Pokémon will appear or somehow my GPS will glitch and an egg will hatch. It never happens, all I see is my face reflected back at me. Its times like these that make me question my sanity for continuing to play the game.

I was just reading about the updates to Pokémon Go that are anticipated in December. PvP battles, Pokémon trading, 100+ new monsters to catch, and, quite possibly, Legendary Pokémon are all rumored. All of that just whets my appetite to continue playing. No matter how shitty grinding through level 26 is, I go back to the potential excitement of the big “December Update” to keep me moving along. And if that big update doesn’t happen? You know I’ll keep grinding my way to level 27. I average about 15,000 EXP per day walking around the park near the office. Collecting 50 EXP per PokéStop while the Pokémon spawn all around me and I catch as many as I possibly can. 15,000 EXP per day, averaging 3 days per week, it looks like I’m only 4 to 5 weeks away from level 27!!! My goal is to hit that level before the end of 2017.

The good news is that I’ve lost over 10 pounds by getting up off my ass and walking almost daily while playing Pokémon Go. So, for all the negative things, I definitely count that as a MAJOR positive, and one of the key reasons I continue to walk & play at lunch.

Are you playing Pokémon Go? If so, what motivates you to continue hunting those elusive little pocket monsters?

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