All across America, there are adults wandering around staring at their phones, just trying to catch ‘em all thanks to Pokemon GO, a more interactive reboot of the popular 90s card and video game. And who could forget the cartoon movies and show?

What is Pokemon Go?

This modern version uses your phone’s GPS function to produce virtual Pokemon in your surroundings. People have been posting photos of Pokemon that appear to be in their homes or outside on the street. The fastest way to catch more Pokemon is to keep walking around. Could this be the solution to America’s obesity problem? That’s a matter to analyze another time.

Servers overloaded.

As with many new games, the Pokemon Go servers aren’t handling the immense traffic well. Americans have been complaining about gaps in game-time and a temporary lack of Pokemon. I am not feeling very sympathetic to this problem. That’s because I currently live and teach in Thailand, where Pokemon Go is essentially still on hold. I assumed it would launch here firstsince it began as an Asian phenomenon. As of Tuesday, July 12, the server has worked for one hour.

A culture of gamers.

Thai students are absolutely obsessed with digital games. Their eyes are glued to their phones and Video Games are pretty much all they talk about with each other and every moment of free time is dedicated to looking at a screen of sorts.

They have been eagerly awaiting the Pokemon Go release and this delay has sent them into a frenzy. The day after the Pokemon Go server went up in the US and Australia, one of my 11th grade students walked in and said, “Teacher. Yesterday was an emotional rollercoaster.” I assumed something bad happened.

Girl problems, parents setting rules, regular teenage things.

Developers blocked the server in Thailand.

He proceeded to explain how he downloaded the awesome new game, but then he had military training and no time to play. After military training, he caught his first Pokemon. Soon after, the developers realized that people in Thailand were illegally accessing the server so they put up some sort of block…but then his new phone case arrived in the mail.

Snapshot of kids who love games.

Quite the emotional rollercoaster, right? This situation is just a snapshot of how much Thai kids love games. I have been told that Pokemon Go will be ready for action sometime this week and I’m ready to battle all of my students at a Pokemon Go gym to become a Pokemon master. First, I need to learn how to play. Anyone have any Pokemon Go tips for me? Here’s hoping the developers of Pokemon Go grant us access here in the Land of Smiles soon. My students will be a lot more smiley when they do.

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