What’s in a Pokemon Go Team? Why I joined Instinct.

So when the teams were first announced in Pokemon Go I thought I was going to be railroaded into being on Team Mystic for two reasons. The first of which is that all my online monikers are some form of 0ptimystic. It only made sense to match the two up. The second was that my everyday behavior coincides with Mystic’s core values of calm analytics. I spend most of my free time studying, reading, and writing so it only seemed natural to belong to a team that reflected those factors in my life. Then the team leaders came out and the internet community went nuts with it in the best way

Valor’s Candela is consistently shown as the rugged individual that’s always ready for action. She has been painted as the go getter type to push pokemon and discover their inner-power. Meanwhile, Mystic’s Blanche is the more tempered of the group that prefers to calmly study pokemon and exhibits patience when training them. Yet it was how the internet took to Team Instinct’s Spark that really pulled me in. Spark is depicted in one of two ways. He’s either the meme driven goof or the loving trainer that sees the beauty in all Pokemon. It was Spark’s interpretation in the community that gave me my final decision in a Pokemon Go team because of how it matches my Pokemon play style..

I’m not feeling this vibe. Too much tension.


That’s more like it!


Thanks to twitter user redd bull for this awesome meme

I’ve always played Pokemon the same way since I was a kid. As a gamer, I’ve always seen pokemon as digital creatures that needed nurturing to grow. I felt authentic love and care for my captured pocket monsters. I saw every captured pokemon as something that deserved my time and care as a trainer and I always took the time to make sure my party was healthy. In early games this meant carrying around extra healing items to heal party members of their various ailments. Nowadays this means taking the time to use in game mechanics to play with and care for my pokemon’s emotional health as well. I could care less about stats or natures or shiny’s. For me, it’s about finding meaning in every pokemon captured.

When it came time for me to pick sides, I chose Team Instinct and its leader Spark to rally behind because of how the Pokemon Go community took to him. Spark is often depicted as carefree and loving as he’s surrounded by Pidgeys or cradling an egg. His attachment to each individual Pokemon as being important in themselves hooked me and ultimately sealed the deal on my team choice. 20 levels in and I have yet to participate in a gym battle, nor do I care for the rivalry between teams. For me, it’s always been about the love of Pokemon. And whenever I decide to be odd or goofy and my ADHD kicks in, I can turn to my meme lord leader for comfort!


I firmly believe that all three teams were created equal, but they were just meant for different types of players. To me, it’s not a competition. It’s more about how we all identify as Pokemon Trainers and what we can expect when going out and meeting up with people on different teams. That being said, what made you pick your team in Pokemon Go?

And if anything, there’s this beautiful piece by surfacage