Things I’m Willing To Believe About Pokemon Go

My social media platforms took a weird turn this weekend. One minute, it was all racism, gun violence and Hamilton, and seemingly out of nowhere it became SQUIRTLE! MEWTOO! GOTTA CATCH EM ALL! Was there some kind of a 1998 time warp? I can’t have been the only person who didn’t have advance notice of Pokemon Go and has been struggling to put it all together piece by piece.

Let’s be clear: I think Pokemon Go is great! It gets people outside, smiling and walking and talking to friends and strangers. Dogs get exercise. Neighborhoods are explored. Everyone’s talking about the same thing (which is one of my favorite things about social media phenomena, generally). I also have no clue what’s going on. And since I’ve been getting messages that my iPhone storage is almost full for the past two weeks, I won’t find out until I get all of my photos on a cloud and cull my iTunes library.

Usually we reserve Things I’m Willing To Believe About posts for dreamy leading men (see: Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lin-Manuel Miranda), or else one-time DNC candidates (hey, Lincoln Chafee). But since we know so few actual facts about Pokemon Go, it seemed like fictional facts are the way to go. Here are some things we’re willing to believe about it:

Pokemon Go was developed as a secret initiative of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program. 

THANKS OBAMA. (No, really – thanks!)

“Rare” Pokemons are in really dangerous spots. Or, like, in a cemetery at night.
Dozens of Pokemon Go! players broke into an abandoned subway bed for a “PokeRave.”

Over 10 players were hospitalized with overdose symptoms but curiously, no evidence of drug use was found.

Developers are currently working on Benevolent Mode

Time for you to go to sleep? A coveted Pokemon appears in your bed. When you have to get up, there’s one by your coffee machine. A trail of Pokemon will appear, like moving targets, until you have completed your step goal for the day. You can even set Pokemon to appear at your nana’s nursing home – so you visit more – or at a local farmer’s market if you’re trying to eat more greens. A new Pokemon will appear around the corner from your workplace or home after you’ve finished a work assignment or homework. Have some iffy moles? There’s a Scyther at your dermatologist’s office.

Pokemon Go works better if you walk really slowly and stop dead in the middle of crowded sidewalks.

 

I don’t know, I’m just basing this on youths I’ve been stuck behind on my way to and from work.

The creators are so proud of Rattata

So, so proud that they put them EVERYWHERE. It’s like when god made rats: clearly pretty pleased with himself, since those jerks will survive anywhere.

Pokemon Go has been used in a successful sting to round up criminals with outstanding warrants

“Hey Kevin, there’s a Zapdos at the precinct, let’s go!”

Don’t do it, Kevin. There’s a 6-month prison term at the precinct.

There’s a Bulbasaur onstage during the duel in Hamilton.

Audiences feel that, if anything, it enhances the experience.

The “Churches are Pokegyms” thing was meant to be social commentary.

I don’t know, something about how we worship physical fitness, or a protest against churches’ tax-free status, probably.

Or one of these guys is really into church and is trying to get people into it. Not sure.

Pokemon Go Urban Legends already exist.

The Charizard was flying from INSIDE THE HOUSE.

When she got out of the car, Ash’s fingernails were scraping against the roof of the car.

He turned around to the backseat, and the Pikachu he had picked up had vanished. He went up to the nearest door. “Oh, Pikachu? He died in 1999,” the old woman said.

Pokemon Go has an internal conscience

Why else would it have caught so many people cheating, according to headlines I saw but didn’t click on? Also it has all of your secrets, so don’t piss it off.

You still have to look both ways

If you’re crossing the street, you still have to look both ways. If you’re driving, you still can’t play a game at the same time. Like I said, I haven’t played the game yet, but I’ve seen it blamed for injuries on the news and I’m almost positive you can’t walk out into traffic when you’re playing.

 

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Best of C+S 2014: The Big Screen Pitch: 90s Board Games

MERRY CHRISTMAS, FRIENDS!! Hope everyone is enjoying time with their loved ones this holiday season! In the spirit of Christmas, we’re looking back at the games we might’ve opened back in the day – and what their movie counterparts would be in modern times.


 

Because apparently movie makers can’t come up with original ideas anymore, there is a live-action film based on the board game Ouija that is coming out today.

In the movie version of the game, a group of teens try to contact their dead friend but have to confront their “most evil and demonic fears” when they dark powers of the Ouija board come to life. That’s the real plot. Of course the concept of taking a board game and making it into a movie is nothing new, with the likes of Clue and Battleship before it, but I feel like it hasn’t been until recently that producers are looking to kids for ideas. I mean look at Transformers and The Lego Movie, which were blockbuster hits. There must be other board game movies in the works, but until those come out, here are a few suggestions from iconic 90s games that should head to big screen.

13 Dead End Drive

Pitch: Aunt Agatha, the matriarch of a rich family in the Hamptons, with a similar demeanor to the Dowager Countess of Grantham, dies at the age of 110, much to the delight of her greedy family. They fight over her estate and assets over the course of a weekend in her Long Island mansion, but her offspring are each secretly trying to kill each other in order to get the most money out of her will. Keep your eyes out for that sneaky cat that might actually trump the humans in the game of trickery.

Mall Madness

Pitch: Set in the 1990s in Minnesota, twin sisters are given a credit card to spend any way they want in the Mall of America for their birthday. But when their parents set them loose, they go a little crazy with their spending habits, running around the mall from store to store swiping the card willy nilly, despite their parents telling them to only spend $150 each. In the process, they witness a man stealing from the local Foot Locker and spend the rest of their day trying to catch him. It’s a big screen version of The Adventures of Mary Kate and Ashley: The Case of the Mall Marauder.

Dream Phone

Pitch: Jennifer, Kaci and Veronica are having their monthly sleepover and decided to prank call a bunch of cute guys from their school. But when they misdial a number, they end up talking to a man who isn’t as friendly as he sounds and they spend the rest of the night trying to avoid his calls – and his unwanted visits to their house.

Don’t Wake Daddy

 

Pitch: The girl who plays Lily on Modern Family and the kid who plays Cory and Topanga’s son on Girl Meets World are siblings who secretly stay up to play a game that’s like Rock Paper Scissors and Russian Roulette late at night and whoever loses each round has to go into their parents’ room and play some sort of prank of their dad – without waking him up. Luckily he’s a narcoleptic so it’s easier done than said.

Pretty Pretty Princess

Pitch: Set in Renaissance-era France, this movie is a coming-of-age story about a young group of boys sneak into one of their dutchess mom’s rooms to try on her clothes and jewelry and one of them secretly likes dressing up in women’s attire more than the others.

Perfection

Pitch: Mary Anne is a high school junior who has always been a perfectionist and at the head of her class. Lately, college tours, application essays, the SATs and the regular grind of school have been making her go a little crazy, so she keeps having odd recurring dreams. The main one involves her trapped in a labyrinth where the main goal is to put huge shapes into their proper corresponding holes before a giant buzzer goes off and she’s ejected from the game and has to start all over again. Starring Ed Begley Jr. as the Games Master.

Splat!

Pitch: A modern tale of a twenty-something Brooklynite who already trouble balancing her job at the local coffee shop and her dog walking job, and the fact that she’s in a long distance relationship with a boy from New Jersey. It only gets worse when she gets bed bugs.

Ask Zandar

Pitch: Zack and Elisa find an old board game in his mom’s attic, and it contains a weird fortune-telling wizard as the main component. Zack is the ever cynical one of the BFFs, but Elisa knows there’s something more to the crystal ball than they think. They end up seeing parts of their future that they like, but a lot they wish they had never seen at all.

Girl Talk

Photo May 25, 9 28 57 PM

 Pitch: Three high school girls stay up all night talking about boys, school, playing MASH and eating Halloween candy, but what they don’t know is that someone is following their every move and recording everything they say. The next day at school, their secrets are exposed and it’s up to the trio to find out who is out to get them.

*Yes, that is me and my two friends from high school, because we were really cool back then.

Gator Golf

Pitch: A group of friends decide to spend their Saturday night at the local mini golf place after plans for a pizza party fall through. At the final hole, they assume the ball goes through the giant gator and down to the golf clubhouse, but one brave soul figures out that by going into the gator’s cave-like mouth, there is a tunnel of secrets underneath the seedy underbelly of the mini-golf course that the owner never wanted exposed.

 

The Big Screen Pitch: 90s Board Games

Because apparently movie makers can’t come up with original ideas anymore, there is a live-action film based on the board game Ouija that is coming out today.

In the movie version of the game, a group of teens try to contact their dead friend but have to confront their “most evil and demonic fears” when they dark powers of the Ouija board come to life. That’s the real plot. Of course the concept of taking a board game and making it into a movie is nothing new, with the likes of Clue and Battleship before it, but I feel like it hasn’t been until recently that producers are looking to kids for ideas. I mean look at Transformers and The Lego Movie, which were blockbuster hits. There must be other board game movies in the works, but until those come out, here are a few suggestions from iconic 90s games that should head to big screen.

13 Dead End Drive

Pitch: Aunt Agatha, the matriarch of a rich family in the Hamptons, with a similar demeanor to the Dowager Countess of Grantham, dies at the age of 110, much to the delight of her greedy family. They fight over her estate and assets over the course of a weekend in her Long Island mansion, but her offspring are each secretly trying to kill each other in order to get the most money out of her will. Keep your eyes out for that sneaky cat that might actually trump the humans in the game of trickery.

Mall Madness

Pitch: Set in the 1990s in Minnesota, twin sisters are given a credit card to spend any way they want in the Mall of America for their birthday. But when their parents set them loose, they go a little crazy with their spending habits, running around the mall from store to store swiping the card willy nilly, despite their parents telling them to only spend $150 each. In the process, they witness a man stealing from the local Foot Locker and spend the rest of their day trying to catch him. It’s a big screen version of The Adventures of Mary Kate and Ashley: The Case of the Mall Marauder.

Dream Phone

Pitch: Jennifer, Kaci and Veronica are having their monthly sleepover and decided to prank call a bunch of cute guys from their school. But when they misdial a number, they end up talking to a man who isn’t as friendly as he sounds and they spend the rest of the night trying to avoid his calls – and his unwanted visits to their house.

Don’t Wake Daddy

 

Pitch: The girl who plays Lily on Modern Family and the kid who plays Cory and Topanga’s son on Girl Meets World are siblings who secretly stay up to play a game that’s like Rock Paper Scissors and Russian Roulette late at night and whoever loses each round has to go into their parents’ room and play some sort of prank of their dad – without waking him up. Luckily he’s a narcoleptic so it’s easier done than said.

Pretty Pretty Princess

Pitch: Set in Renaissance-era France, this movie is a coming-of-age story about a young group of boys sneak into one of their dutchess mom’s rooms to try on her clothes and jewelry and one of them secretly likes dressing up in women’s attire more than the others.

Perfection

Pitch: Mary Anne is a high school junior who has always been a perfectionist and at the head of her class. Lately, college tours, application essays, the SATs and the regular grind of school have been making her go a little crazy, so she keeps having odd recurring dreams. The main one involves her trapped in a labyrinth where the main goal is to put huge shapes into their proper corresponding holes before a giant buzzer goes off and she’s ejected from the game and has to start all over again. Starring Ed Begley Jr. as the Games Master.

Splat!

Pitch: A modern tale of a twenty-something Brooklynite who already trouble balancing her job at the local coffee shop and her dog walking job, and the fact that she’s in a long distance relationship with a boy from New Jersey. It only gets worse when she gets bed bugs.

Ask Zandar

Pitch: Zack and Elisa find an old board game in his mom’s attic, and it contains a weird fortune-telling wizard as the main component. Zack is the ever cynical one of the BFFs, but Elisa knows there’s something more to the crystal ball than they think. They end up seeing parts of their future that they like, but a lot they wish they had never seen at all.

Girl Talk

Photo May 25, 9 28 57 PM

 Pitch: Three high school girls stay up all night talking about boys, school, playing MASH and eating Halloween candy, but what they don’t know is that someone is following their every move and recording everything they say. The next day at school, their secrets are exposed and it’s up to the trio to find out who is out to get them.

*Yes, that is me and my two friends from high school, because we were really cool back then.

Gator Golf

Pitch: A group of friends decide to spend their Saturday night at the local mini golf place after plans for a pizza party fall through. At the final hole, they assume the ball goes through the giant gator and down to the golf clubhouse, but one brave soul figures out that by going into the gator’s cave-like mouth, there is a tunnel of secrets underneath the seedy underbelly of the mini-golf course that the owner never wanted exposed.

 

Guess Who? Character Bios: Beyond Glasses & Facial Hair

“Guess Who?” isn’t just for kids. The trick to Adult Guess Who? is in the questions. “Does he have facial hair?” “Does she have brown eyes?” No. That’s kid stuff. Adult Guess Who is all about the character traits: “Does he look like he’d work in I.T.?” “Does she Facebook-stalk her ex kind of a lot?” “Is he really into Jesus, but probably doesn’t feel great about Catholics?” That’s how you play it as an adult.

To help you out, here are my unofficial character bios for our favorite Hasbro characters:

Alex

Occupation: children’s’ basketball league coordinator

Character traits: Considers himself rebellious (for instance, he is growing out a Mohawk that he had cut during his 2-week vacation to a “Sandals” resort).

Fun Fact: Recipient of the first-ever mustache transplant, his facial hair used to be the eyebrows of a 43-year-old single mother.

Alfred

Occupation: “Odd Jobs” (read: sometimes helps his friend cook meth)

Fun Fact: Not allowed to live within 200 yards of an elementary school.

Anita

Occupation: Owns a start-up business putting on “princess parties” for 3-8 year-old girls

Skills: Cheerily diffusing awkward and heated situations; good with glitter and tulle

Character traits: Occasional crippling depression

Fun Fact: Yes, her name is Anita. No, she’s not Hispanic.

Anne

Occupation: Small-law attorney (mostly transactional stuff)

Skills: Can always correctly  “Guess Who” in three or fewer questions.

Character traits: So organized that you kind of hate her.

Fun Fact: Yes, her name is Anne, yes, Anita would be the Spanish diminutive, Yes, Anne IS Hispanic, No, she and Anita don’t think it’s THAT funny.

Bernard

Occupation: Cossack

Skills: Military strategy; driving in snow.

Character traits: Funniest character on the board.

Bill

Occupation: “The Wind” in the corner of an antique map

Character traits: blustery; long-winded.

Fun Fact: Met Anita, Philip, Robert, and Susan at a Rosacea support group. It’s a real problem.

Charles

Occupation: Your Uncle

Skills: Encyclopedic knowledge of whatever your nearest NFL team is

Character traits: None, really.

Fun Fact: If he tries to smile too big, he has to really work to push it past his mustache.

Claire

Occupation: Runs a scrapbooking blog

Skills: Scrapbooking, mostly.

Character traits: Is “scrapbooking” a trait? Then that.

Fun Fact: A real bitch.

Eric

Occupation: Captain of a Revolutionary War reenactment regiment

Skills: Proficient in late-18th century military slang.

Fun Fact: Not a cop.

Frans

Occupation: Former child actor, when he went by “Frankie Jake Bartlett” because Frans Johann Schumacher was reading too “ethnic.”

Skills: Managing his residuals

Character traits: Just really, really charming.

Fun Fact: Best buds with Susan, who sings “Frans a-make her dance!” whenever she sees him. It’s sort of their thing.

George

Occupation: Fun-employed!

Skills: Well, nothing marketable in our post-recession economy, that’s for certain.

Character traits: Downtrodden, with a streak of almost heartbreaking optimism.

Fun Fact: There hasn’t been a “fun” fact about George for the past 22-months, I’m afraid (that’s when the layoff happened).

Herman

Occupation: I don’t know, probably something in finance

Skills: Amateur boxing

Fun Fact: Has broken his nose 3 or 4 times.

Joe

Occupation: Software design

Skills: Computer stuff

Character traits: Gentle. I’d say gentle.

Fun Fact: Really hates when people ask “Does he have a butt chin?” or “Does he have Sally Jessie Raphael glasses?”

Maria

Occupation: High school French teacher.

Skills: Verb conjugations.

Character traits: Romantic (has been chasing Philip since 1982)

Fun Fact: Has never been to France.

Max

Occupation: Flag waver at roadside construction sites

Character traits: Very self-conscious (he grew his mustache to draw attention from his truly gigantic mouth, only to find that it came in lopsided)

Fun Fact: envies Charles and Alfred for their full, symmetrical mustaches.

Paul

Occupation: Family therapist

Skills: Reframing Guess Who? questions as “I feel” statements.

Fun Fact: has worn the same pair of glasses since kindergarten

Philip

Occupation: Podiatrist

Skills: Classical pianist

Character traits: More oblivious than seems probable (he likes Maria back, since ’87 or so).

Fun Fact: Prematurely bald. Had beard hair transplanted to his head, resulting in an entirely seamless head hair-facial hair experience

Richard

Occupation: Plays in a children’s folk group with his wife and sister-in-law

Skills: Writing songs about such varied topics as healthy snacks, bath time, and sharing

Character traits: Slyly passive-aggressive, so that you can never quite come up with a concrete reason to dislike him.

Fun Fact: has had a serious falling out with Sharon, Lois, and Bram, who “stole his sound”

Robert

Occupation: Funeral director

Skills: Funeral planning, lifting (subs  in as a pall bearer in a pinch)

Character traits: Empathy

Fun Fact: That’s just his empathy face. He’s actually pretty happy.

Sam

Occupation: Amateur painter, but really living off some savvy real estate investments

Skills: Can really read the market

Character traits: Judicious and detail-oriented

Fun Fact: Made entirely out of circles.

Susan

Occupation: Studio musician

Skills: Anarchy, zines (early member of the Riot Grrrl movement during her college days)

Character traits: Pretty quiet until you get to know her

Fun Fact: There is a fairly heated debate among the other characters (“board members,” they call themselves) as to whether Susan has white or platinum blonde hair.

Tom

Occupation: Sociology professor

Skills: Can calculate any standard deviation in his head in under 2 minutes.

Character traits: Clear and helpful, according to the scale on Rate My Professors (no chili pepper.. yet).

Fun Fact: He and Paul have been together since grad school.

Peter

Occupation: Retired Dentist

Skills: Has taken up balloon animal-making in his retirement (always a hit at family parties!)

Character traits: Pretty genial and even-tempered, on the whole.

Fun Fact: Flips. The fuck. Out. if you call him “Pete”

David

Occupation: Ikea instruction writer

Skills: Not writing clear instructions.

Character traits: Swedish

Fun Fact: Looks exactly the same right-side-up and upside-down.

Cups: A Tutorial

When Molly and I were in high school, we separately knew how to play the cup game, until one day we found out we both knew how to play it and proceeded to play together and continued our quest to become the coolest people ever (still on that quest, probably not going to ever happen).

However, the cup game/rhythm became popular as of late, thanks to Anna Kendrick’s solo performance in Pitch Perfect.

While Anna used the basic cup rhythm as an audition song, we were used to playing it with a group of friends, like this:

*this video reminds me of when I first learned how to play – at a retreat with a bunch of youth group kids from across New York state. Except these folks are going super slow, and the point was to speed up as you went on.

So we decided it would be a disservice to not teach you loyal readers how to do it. Please enjoy this awkward video of us teaching the cup game in a Starbucks in Rochester.