The rule for movie sequels is the longer they go on, the probability the franchise ends up in space approaches 1 (see: Jason X, Leprechaun in Space, Fast and Furious and Also In Space, etc.). The new rule for social trends should be that the longer they persist, they’ll eventually end up as a dating app: See the Ayn Rand dating app, Trumpism, every and any animal-based subculture of gay life. So now we have reached that point with Pokemon Go, which went from not even existing to being mentioned in the presidential campaigns in under a week.
Today PokeDates, a dating app aimed at Pokemon Go trainers was released, promising to match up Pokepeople and find a good Pokestop for them to meet. This means the Pokemania has officially gone too far: not because of the popularity of Pokemon Go itself, which is fine and fun and anyone who tells you otherwise is an Old who surely would have raged against the rampant spread of terrifying baseballs everywhere had they been born in the 1910s. No, the reason it’s gone too far is the dates cost $20 (twenty real dollars) to set up. When the scavengers of capitalism come in, you should be wary that a trend is under attack.
Pokedates is not quite a Tinder for your Fletchinder or an OKCupid for your Pidgey: The service, run by existing app Project Fixup, has matchmakers that sort through applicants to find someone to set you up with — which is ostensibly why it costs $20.
Here’s the thing though: Pokemon Go is already a built in dating app. The very nature of it involves going to spots in public that have been turned into gyms or Pokestops and hanging out with strangers. Bar crawls where you can meet fellow people on the hunt for a Poke are happening all around the city. One local woman tweeted that she hadn’t talked to as many strangers on the streets of NYC since 9/11. The app pairs well with walking your dog, another natural aphrodisiac (though you should be careful not to over-walk your tired pooch).
Outside forces coming in to suck blood like mosquitoes off an already fun and free app is an inevitability. But you know what this means: It’s only a matter of time before our nation’s beloved #brands find a way in.
“It’s perfect as a dating game,” Karen North, professor of digital social media at the USC Annenberg School, told Wired. “You meet someone with a common interest, engage in that activity together, and get a new challenge for tomorrow and the next day.”
Here’s what we mean:
yo I'd be so down to have a date with a guy that consists of walking around NYC catching Pokemon.
— kuya jp (@jordanplopez) July 8, 2016
Pokémon Go is the best way for single women to catch guys https://t.co/xSCkGQWVmd
— Connor Ryan (@connortryan) July 16, 2016
So don’t pay $20 for a Pokedate, just find someone on Tinder or IRL who wants to hunting for pocket monsters with you. Just clarify which pocket monster you are referring to.
Follow Tim, who has yet to win a single Pokemon battle: @timdonnelly.