Pokémon GO is here. Since its launch, Nintendo's stock has risen $9 billion in value, and Pokémon trainers are clocking in an average of 43 minutes of gameplay a day. Over the weekend, 11 Pokémon-chasing teens reportedly frolicked into the middle of an armed robbery while playing; they were probably less traumatized than the teen who found a dead body.
Pokémon GO is expected to overtake Twitter in its amount of daily active users and has already surpassed Tinder in download numbers, indicating that people care more about catching 'em all then pursuing some tail. But surely chasing Pokémon and getting laid can't be mutually exclusive? To find out, we trolled the Tinder deck for people who have recently made Pokémon-related bios and asked them how they were looking for love in the time of Pokémon GO.
There have been reports of thieves luring Pokémon trainers into remote areas to rob them. I may have met one of them while on Tinder. His bio simply said "Pokémon friendly" and I tried to figure out exactly what he meant by, "I used it to steal the phone I'm using." Did Bradley lure an unsuspecting teen into a back alley and run off with the phone? Is Bradley using his own Pokémon account to play on the stolen phone? My questions may never be answered, as he replied to my request for more information, which I had embellished with a subtle winky face, with a non sequitur: "Charazards [sic] chief."
I reached out to another young man by the name of Ricky with the same question I had posed to Bradley. Unfortunately, Ricky never got back to me. His bio did say that he was "using [Tinder] to get out of the house until Pokémon GO drops," so now that the game has arrived, he is presumably very busy trying to catch all the Pokémon his heart desires.
Undeterred by Ricky's silence, I reached out to another Pokémon enthusiast I'd found: Eric.
From his profile, Eric seems to be very fit. He wears a lot of athleisure clothing and is frequently pictured in exercise stances. He also seems to be a believer of love, with the romantic line "we all deserve love" written into his profile right next to "our first date should be wherever the most Pokémon are." Sadly, he admitted to me straight out that his Pokémon addiction was adversely impacting him romantically: When asked whether the game had taken over his love life, he responded, "Safe to say I don't have a love life because of it lol."
Michael's profile simply stated, "90% chance I'm playing Pokémon GO rn."
For Michael, I used my now go-to Tinder pickup line, "Do you play Pokémon GO?!??!!" I think that the exclamation marks show my genuine interest, while the question marks display a longing curiosity to surround myself with Pokémon-knowledge. Michael seemed to match my enthusiasm by responding in all caps with some lyrics from the show's theme song. I wasn't one to correct him by noting that it's actually "I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was."
When asked if Pokemon had helped him meet any women, Michael was pretty candid with me, telling me that, the other day, he had thrown a lure module—an item that attracts Pokémon to a specific location—resulting in what he described as "basically a frenzy lmao."
Like other Tinder-matches, he confided in me that the game "[is] basically taking over my life tbh." Later, when pressed, he told me I was one of the "cool ones" because I play Pokémon as well. I won't let him know that I had to ask one of my coworkers what a "lure module" is and what exactly it does.