We Asked the Canadian Who Caught All the Pokémon If He’ll Ever Feel Joy Again

Once you've climbed the mountain, can you go higher?

Aug 4 2016, 3:55pm

Image: Roberto Vazquez

Pokémon Go is not a video game. It is a never-ending treadmill of manufactured desire, the perfect vehicle for late capitalism's least offensive and most insidious tendencies, and Roberto Vazquez is running like hell.

The 24-year-old photographer, who lives in Toronto, is—as far as we know—the first Canadian to catch all of the 142 pokémon available in North America. Since most people playing the game seem to be drowning in a sea of Zubats, this is very impressive. And according to an interview Vazquez gave to the CBC, it wasn't easy.

The undertaking involved skulking around the woods at night and even though the game seemed like wholesome fun at first, Vazquez told Canada's public broadcaster that he began to feel the spell of unceasing pocket monster accumulation settle over him like sleep powder from Gloom's petals.

Naturally, we had to call Roberto up and ask him how it feels—how it really feels—to catch 'em all, and if he'll ever be truly happy again.

"I'm happy that I captured them so I can get a better sleep"

Motherboard: Now that you've caught all the pokémon, do you feel fulfilled?
Roberto Vazquez: Not quite yet. I still have to catch the original pokémon too, right? There's the ones you can catch in North America, which I've done, but I'll have to travel overseas to capture the rest.

Are you happy?
I'm happy that I captured them so I can get a better sleep, and my data won't go over too much this month.

Were there a lot of sleepless nights?
When I first started out, it brought back old memories of me and my friends watching the show and playing the game. Those ideas started coming back. I definitely got excited with my friends and we spent the first couple days staying up.

How did it feel to escape?
It's one of the coolest feelings to relax your mind in a sense. You can go out, meet people, and explore a city. They show you what they caught, and you show them what you caught. There's an adrenaline rush you get when you see hundreds of people trying to catch the same pokemon.

How will you fill the void now?
There's achievements you can get in the game for things like catching a certain amount of pokemon, or battling in a certain amount of gyms. The next achievement I'm trying to get is to walk 1000 kilometres. So far, I've walked around 260 kilometres. That's definitely my next thing to do.

Will you ever feel joy again?
Probably not as much joy. But I'll definitely be as happy, because there's still things to do and people to see.