Together While Apart: A Celebration of 2021 in Pokémon GO (and my 300th article!)

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To piggyback on what my wonderful colleagues have already said….

Here we are, Pokéfriends. The end of another year of Pokémon GO. I’m writing this in the closing hours of 2021, and with time zones and all, you may not even be seeing this until the New Year has already arrived where you live. If it’s already 2022 where you are, hello from the ancient past! 👋

Anyway, today is not your standard JRE deep dive PvP analysis article. Instead — with the blessing of my GO Hub colleagues, thanks to them — I wanted to just take a few minutes to reminisce, to reflect, to look ahead, and to celebrate together.

It’s been a big year in Pokémon GO, PvP and otherwise. By my count, we’ve had 59 brand new Pokémon introduced to GO, and 98 new shinies and 8 new Megas, for those who keep track of such things. More specifically to PvP, there were 24 new Cups/Remixes/limited formats between GBL and The Silph Arena for me to write extensive analyses on this past year (usually in the form of one of my “Nifty Or Thrifty” reviews), five full-fledged move rebalances, and of course 12 Community Days, all of which made up part of the exactly 90 PvP analysis articles I cranked out in 2021. I also had some big personal accomplishments in hitting over 1400 followers on Reddit, flying past 3000 followers on Twitter before Thanksgiving, and climbing the peak to Legend a couple times in GBL (making the leaderboards too!). And this article here, the one you’re reading right now, is my 300th, a little less than three years after I first started analyzing PvP in GO. I now have freelance gigs with GO Hub and The Silph Arena, both of which came to me and invited me aboard out of the blue and have been a delight to work with. I had good folks seek me out — little old boring me! — for podcast interviews. I got to finally attend my first in person GO Fest, and my first Safari Zone, and meet cool folks and fellow players. When it comes to GO, 2021 was a pretty good year for me personally. And I am immensely grateful for your readership, your encouragement, your many Reddit awards and karma, and all who have chosen to follow me on my very non-standard social platforms. I am amazed at how many people flock to my style of “content creation” that lacks bells and whistles, flashy videos, or streaming content. Just walls of text broken up by terrible dad jokes, outdated references, and the occasional useful tidbit of information. 😅 So thank you all, from the deepest places of my heart. My affection for you all, this Pokémon GO community, grows more and more as time marches on, and I am eternally grateful for this wild ride I’ve been on the last three years and excited to see how far we can take this train. It’s a lot of work, I won’t lie, but it’s a true blessing to be able to help and entertain in my unique, goofy style. Thank you for being so welcoming to me. It’s probably cliché to say it, but… I love you all. 💙

But that’s enough about JRE. How are YOU, dear player? How was YOUR 2021? Outside of GO it’s been a rough year, with the seemingly neverending COVID-19 pandemic and tons of upheaval that has come with its many variants. Our lives have been turned upside down, to the point that what was once an uncomfortable and foreign way of living is now becoming the new norm. I sincerely hope this finds you and your loved ones well, still standing and pushing forward in these frustrating and scary times. GO has been an escape for many of us from the stresses of life, now more than ever.

Of course, Pokémon GO has been its own source of angst at times. I could list a whole host of issues, and have when appropriate in the past… but that’s really NOT what this post is supposed to be about.

As we leave 2021 behind, let’s hear from you, our fellow players, our Pokémon GO community, about how this game has positively helped you throughout the last year, as the escape we need it to be. Yes, GBL and raids and all have issues, but let’s celebrate the GOOD. Be it the game itself or the awesome community that has grown and evolved around it through thick and thin, what have you enjoyed this past year? What have you accomplished? What goals and personal milestones did you achieve? And what do you look forward to as we cross into a new year?

Yes, the world and even the game itself seem ablaze at times. But it’s easy to complain, to get down in the dumps. Let’s lift each other up and come together as we move into 2022 with hope and celebrate, as a community, what’s been great over the last 365 days. 🥳

Or to put it another way….

🎼 For auld lang syne, my jo,

🎵 For auld lang syne,

🎶 We’ll drink a cup o’ kindness yet

🎵 For auld lang syne!

We made it through another year, Pokéfriends. Let’s see what lies ahead, and help each other push towards the NEXT holiday season.

Happy New Year, my friends. 🎉 May all your events be filled with good spawns and shinies, and may you stay healthy and happy as we push forward, as a community. Thank you for helping ME through this year we now leave behind, and I do hope, in some small way, that I was able to make yours a little easier to stomach too. On to the next!

Cheers, and God bless. 🥂

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