What Your Pokémon GO Team Says About You
Humans love dividing themselves into “three kinds of people.” You have the ones that make things happen, watch them happen, and wonder what happened. The ones who discuss about people, discuss about events, and discuss about ideas. And now you have Team Instinct, Team Mystic, and Team Valor (why does instinct and mystic rhyme, but valor doesn’t?). We know that Pokémon GO has changed everything about our lives, especially our commutes. So, it’s about time we also discussed what it has revealed.
The first thing it showed is that people are mad thirsty. There are folks falling off bridges, folks crashing into trees, folks getting mugged, and apparently, folks finding lost cows and calling 911. No one has stopped to ask what teams these people belonged to, but there was probably equal representation. So maybe we can dismiss these events as just part of humanity, and move on to meatier things like:
What’s in a Team?
While gameplay isn’t affected by which team you choose, your friendships certainly are. People got more riled up over Pokémon GO teams than they ever did about Harry Potter houses (and that’s saying something). And why is that? Maybe it’s the competitive nature of the game. Maybe it’s the fact that a trifecta of teams has nailed down people’s mindsets more accurately than other “three kinds of people.” Maybe it’s Maybelline.
The creators of Pokémon GO offer the following breakdown in-game:
Team Instinct: Led by Spark, they believe in following one’s instinct and trust their Pokémon’s abilities. Their mascot is Zapdos.
Team Mystic: Led by Blanche, they are driven by their intellect and rely on logic and wisdom to formulate solutions. Their mascot is Articuno.
Team Valor: Led by Candela, they place their bets on powerful pokémon and are passionate and driven by strength. Their mascot is Moltres.
Now, because these introductions were so short, it allows for members of other teams to make generalizations. I figured pokémon trainers are in need of listening to all three sides of the story. So I thought, how can we deliver an unbiased account of each of these teams? (Can you tell I’m Team Mystic?) And then it dawned on me that I have friends. Isn’t that nice? Nah, but I mean friends who are members of other teams. Thus, I enlisted Gabe Bera and Kelmer Messina to represent Valor and Instinct respectively.
Choosing Team Instinct was not my first underdog move. Coincidentally, I am also a Hufflepuff (definitely the less popular of the Harry Potter houses). On both occasions, I have understood how it feels to be an outsider. It is not easy to be the only one of your friends in a particular house or team. However, it is Team Instinct’s lack of power in numbers that makes it the more united team. Encountering another Instinct is such a rare occurrence that it is likelier for unity to be fostered than how it would usually work for other teams. You actually try to get to know your other team members, thus cultivating teamwork through this engagement.
Like its name implies, Team Instinct is all about survival. One of its mottos happens to be “Instinct or Extinct,” implying how we have to work together or experience certain defeat. Team Instinct definitely does not hold the most gyms in my area, yet ours are the most fiercely guarded. Instincts are very territorial and as soon as they see the chance, they engage in defending what is theirs. We are fewer, so we have to work harder. We do this so efficiently (always reliant on cooperation) that when we attack, we seize and when we defend, we obliterate. Team Instinct might not stand out that much, but when we decide to make a move there is no shelter from the storm. – KM
As I’ve said before, picking Team Mystic felt like picking Ravenclaw. When I was reading the description offered by Blanche, I realized quickly that people were going to misinterpret the bit on being “calm.” As a Ravenclaw, and a born Team Mystic member, I understood that this calmness had less to do with yoga and more to do with calculation. Mystic isn’t rash, it’s rational. Mystic has an almost non-existent window for failure and believes in reinventing itself and its tactics often.
The team has a hard time accepting Valor’s impulsiveness, but respects their determination. It empathizes with Instinct’s desire to understand pokémon through sensing, but are sometimes dissuaded by their naiveté. Team Mystic will know all the pokémon names and evolutions and will calculate the order in which their pokémon appear in battle. To achieve this, Mystic studies, but not only because they want to be the very best, but because they love learning. Yes, they can be aloof and maybe a little harsh with their words, but that’s only because their mind is an expansive jungle in which they get lost, frequently.
This team may be compared to being sorted into Gryffindor in the Harry Potter Universe, but I believe Valor trainers are as ambitious as those sorted into Slytherin, as well. However, Team Valor is much more than that. You chose this team because you are determined. You are strong-willed and you strive for greatness every day of your life. You do not settle for mediocrity– you are the best of the best.
As a trainer, you form unbreakable and unstoppable bonds with your Pokémon and your fellow teammates, giving and gaining strength from each and every one of them. Team Valor does not quit and neither do you. A flame burns within you. This flame leads you to perfect your team, your skills as a trainer, your bonds with teammates, and ultimately, it leads you to conquer Pokémon Leagues. Valor is hope. Valor is strength. Valor is the flame that lights a path in the darkest of nights. – GB
There are three kinds of people in the world: those who hate Pokémon, those who are indifferent to Pokémon, and those who have been pokémon masters since the 90s. As long as you’ve made the right choice in that respect, we can all live with you being Instinct, Mystic, or Valor. At the end of the day, a pokémon master is a pokémon master, no matter the color of their team.