PokemonGO – Mental Health insights

PokemonGO and Psychology – a story about chasing an Ivysaur

I tried a Pokemon hunt around my suburb. I went alone. This was a risk. It’s far safer to look for Pokemon in groups or with an adult. I had not wandered the streets around my house just to explore since high school. Feeling a need to just get out and move, I trekked around the backstreets and parks.

I found an Ivysaur, but it escaped.

Seconds after the green reptile ran away, the negative critic started talking.

“You’re out, at night, alone, and you can’t catch any rare Pokemon. How are you going to keep up with your friends who are already approaching level 20, and have encountered Venasaur?”

PokemonGO and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy – The inner critic

I wanted to ignore the critical voices, but they persisted. It was true that a friend had located a wild Venasaur. It was true that I had friends already more than twice the level I am (level 6 as of July 13, 2016!). I made a choice not to compare myself to their progress.

Here’s how I unpacked these thoughts with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT):

  1. CBT is about tracking and questioning problematic thoughts that lead to unhelpful behaviours and actions.
  2. The negative thoughts? That to be a worthy person you need to keep pace with your friends and peers.
  3. That’s a faulty schema (a set of automatic thoughts).
  4. You don’t have to keep pace with everyone to enjoy yourself, and be worthy.
  5. Instead of following the critical voices, and comparing myself to others, I tried another way of thinking.

PokemonGO and shame research – Comparisons

Brene Brown offers some insights into Shame and feelings of worthlessness. On comparison, Brown found when researching shame and wholeheartedness that:

  • In a competitive environment, healthy competition is okay, but excess focus on ranking and comparisons suffocates creativity and openness.
  • Setting boundaries is associated with satisfaction more so than one-upping and comparisons – show up and participate instead of focusing on perfectionism.
  • Cultivating worthiness and wholeheartedness with positive thoughts – “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.”

The last point is a more complex point. The basic idea is we are worthy of connection, and we are enough. Our worthiness for connection with others is not attached to how well we perform, or how we compare to others.

PokemonGO is a great opportunity to connect with others. It can be risky, since we are stepping out, meeting people, and talking to people. And regardless of the competition, and levels within the game, the connection is what’s truly important. I went for a Pokemon hunt alone, but I won’t be doing that again. I’ll be aiming to meet, and connect, with others.

Brisbane Supanova 2014 – Saturday

Brisbane Supanova has a brand new venue – the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. This new location has a new, air-conditioned bubble, which is great for heavy costumes in Australian spring/summer heat. My photos of some the Brisbane Supanova cosplayers are an example of the great talent on display.












Supanova Pop Culture Expo – April 4 – 6

Supanova is a popular culture convention, which invites guests to meet stars from movies and see detailed cosplay.

On the convention floor, I once again asked several cosplayers for photograps – here’s a preview. A sample set, before I post more convention photos on Monday and Tuesday.

This Supanova brought with it talented teams and individuals. Attention to detail and sewing skills were exemplary.





Brisbane Supanova 2013 Cosplay – Part 3

Below is the third and final set of my Brisbane Supanova 2013 photos. Costume and craft skills, that the Brisbane Supanova cosplayers showed off, were incredible throughout the weekend.
Mikasa Ackerman and Eren Yeager, Attack on Titan

Mikasa Ackerman and Eren Yeager, Attack on Titan

Psylocke and Ms. Marvel, Marvel Comics.

Psylocke and Ms. Marvel, Marvel Comics.

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Brisbane Supanova 2013 Cosplay – Part 1

Part 1 of my Brisbane Supanova 2013 photos. What follows are some colourful and skilfully constructed costumes. Keep a look out for Toko – from Ni No Kuni.
Survey Corps, Attack on Titan.

Survey Corps, Attack on Titan.

Harley Quinn, DC Comics. Velma, Scooby Doo.

Harley Quinn, DC Comics. Velma, Scooby Doo.

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Pop Culture – Supanova GC Cosplay: 2013 Part 2

Presenting my second batch of photos. What follows below are more cosplayers from the Gold Coast Supanova in 2013.

Toko is back.

Another heroic Ni No Kuni cosplayer also appears, in addition to some other stellar costumes.


The Iron Giant. (The Iron Giant film, directed by Brad Bird)


Totoro. (Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro)


The Robed Traveler. (Journey)


Glinda the Good. (The Wizard of Oz directed by Victor Fleming)


Jimbei, Knight of the Sea. (One Piece)


Varys and The Hound. (A Game of Thrones)

The Witch King of Angmar (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.)

The Witch King of Angmar (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.)

Reverse Gender Robin and Impulse. (Young Justice)

Robin and Impulse. (Young Justice)

Wreck It Ralph. (Wreck it Ralph)

Wreck It Ralph. (Wreck it Ralph directed by Rich Moore)


Sarah Kerrigan. (Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm)


Oliver. (Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch)


Toko, with his entry in the Wizards companion, as indicated by Oliver.


A crossover cosplay – The Uncanny Avengers. (Marvel Comics)


And finally, Sonic and Mario. (Nintendo and Sega)