Every time I go for a walk, be it to drink coffee or take a brisk walk, I greatly annoy my family by playing Picmin Bloom incessantly. As picturesque as the view around me is, I spend a lot of time staring at my phone, making sure I’m planting flowers efficiently and helping to grow fresh new pikmin. It’s a game you play by walking; more steps means more flowers and pikmin, so at least it encourages me to move. But it’s also an excellent example of how video games have invaded almost every part of my life. And with pokemon sleep launch in the summer, that problem will only get worse.
As someone who likes both Pokémon and sleeping, it seems like an app designed with me in mind. The idea is that you put your phone near your pillow while you sleep for tracking purposes, and the longer you sleep, the better you score, which will encourage new and different Pokemon to appear in the game for you to research. There are even different sleeping styles, such as dozing versus slumbering, that affect how the game plays out.
I’m excited to try it out, but I also can’t help but be a little disturbed by the premise. The marketing materialin particular, are troubling:
Do you find yourself struggling to get energized in the morning? Has the same old bedtime routine become tiresome? Now you can turn your sleep into entertainment with pokemon sleep! Playing this game is easy: just place your smartphone near your pillow and go to sleep. So waking up in the morning becomes something to look forward to!
Do I really want my sleep turned into “entertainment”? It sounds kind of weird when you put it that way, but I appreciate games that try to improve my well-being, whether it’s through physical activity or better sleeping habits. On the other hand: every moment of my life must be filled with something?
It makes me wonder what’s next. Walking and sleeping are occupied, and strangely so is brushing your teeth. What if making coffee gave me a bonus? Person 5 or cleaning the litter box lured a few new cats to my backyard Neko Atsume? The most untapped part of my day is probably meals. Unless I happen to be eating a burger while playing Super Mario run, that’s three moments in every day that have yet to be squeezed by playtime. Maybe mine peridot pet can join me at the AR table. I’m sure Kirby could somehow find his way there, though I wonder if he’d have any healthy eating habits to share. He’s more likely to punish me for not eating fast enough (and not absorbing the properties of my meal).
But I’m more than OK without having Kirby dines on my phone. I love games, of course, but I think I’ve reached my maximum capacity: there’s only so much time I can think about and deal with games before it gets too much. That said, I may not be able to resist the temptation of a virtual nap with Snorlax. When it comes to zzzs I have to catch them all.