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It's pretty obvious that we are living in a world of terror right now. Protests have been breaking out across the country in reaction to recent police brutality, and when that hasn't been happening, there have been terrorist attacks killing tens, sometimes hundreds of people. But Pokemon Go is bringing people together in a time of such violence and darkness.
It's been a long time since I've seen something positive in the news. Every day it's another shooting, another terrorist attack or another political corruption in the current presidential race. Before Pokemon Go released, I really felt like our nation was falling apart. I felt like we were losing control and things were spiraling downward. But since Pokemon Go, I've surprisingly...forgotten about everything. I've been so obsessed with catching my next Charmander that I stopped pouring myself over CNN and feeling sorry for everything that's happening, feeling sad for the state of our country.
Even during the peak of Pokemon Go last weekend, protests stormed the streets in response to recent police brutality caught on video, yet even Pokemon had somehow invaded that scene as well.
And then, something beautiful happened. A beautiful realization. I went to the Santa Monica Pier last night to hunt for Pokemon and what I experienced there really solidified my suspicions, that Pokemon Go had changed us all a little. While standing in a huge crowd on the pier, surrounded by people of all ages flicking their fingers on the screens of their phones to capture the barrage of Pokemon invading the area, instead of worrying about a terrorist attack in a crowded and popular area, we were all catching Pokemon. One person stood up and screamed, "POKEMON GO!" and the crowd cheered, random people thrust their fists in the air and called back in response.
Somehow, amidst all of this terror and corruption and fear, we had found something to connect us, something positive and fulfilling. And outside of things like race or what country we were born in or what gender of person we loved, we were somehow the same in that moment. Just some people there to catch some Pokemon. And to me, it was a beautiful thing.
Pokemon Go has, evidently, brought a light into our dark times and I think it was a much needed escape into something that may have seemed petty on the surface, but deep down was a bandaid for our country's pain. So while some of us still mourn lost loved ones or are caught up in the aftermath of our country's struggles, there's a way out of the darkness and Pokemon Go is a step toward the light.