"I'm sad I didn't get a selfie," Gizmodo's Rae Johnston told me this morning. It was the daily commute, nothing out of the ordinary.
Except for a senior citizen playing Pokemon GO.
She's level 22. Rae isn't level 21. My partner only just hit level 21. I'm only level 20. It's an exceptional effort. But this old lady walks everywhere. She hits all the Pokestops.
This is the Pokemon GO mainstream media keeps ignoring.
I'm sitting in the middle of the Allure Media offices. It's comfortable, but not flashy. There's a TV, a wooden desk and some chairs. That's about it. There's no space for a seperate chill-out zone. It's not a great place for an interview either. There's too much noise, desks and people about.
But that's what one mainstream TV station wanted. With a bright light directly in my face, a producer repeatedly asked me the question: "So, can you tell me more about Pokemon GO being banned?"
The game hasn't really been banned in Australia. You can't play it in NSW courts, but then you shouldn't have your smartphone out in the first place. After all, the Court security act says anyone caught using a recording device in a NSW court could be hit with a $22,000 fine and/or jail time for a year.
That's not really an indictment against Pikachu. Nor is the Australian War Memorial asking people to be respectful when walking around exhibits. It's a war museum. People are meant to be absorbing the history and the horrors of war, and having little kids excitedly running around for a Squirtle isn't exactly appropriate.
But the museum hasn't announced any bans against the game. At the time of the interview they hadn't. Even Sportsbet as of this morning is no longer running a futures market on the first venue to ban Pokemon GO — although they are still taking bets on what state will ban the mobile AR game first.
The game's been sporadically banned overseas. Police officers in Indonesia, for instance, are prohibited from playing the game during work hours, and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum sternly put their foot down. In Australia, the only "bans" are things that you'd expect from reasonable adults and institutions. Don't play the game during school hours. You're an employee, not a Pokemon trainer. Get back to work.
The same thing everyday society expects, really. But that wouldn't fit the narrative, would it?
Thousands of people. That's how many people have turned out around Australia for group Pokemon hunts.
But we know how popular the organised walks have been. What you hear less of is the personal stories. The mother whose child asked if they could go for a walk with them for the first time. The couple walking down the street on a daily basis, instead of once in a blue moon.
The men and women walking around late at night, happily on the hunt. Not as scared of the four or five kids on the opposite side of the street. Less frightened by a dark road or an empty park.
People that might not have wanted to venture out of the house before. People whose social anxiety was too great to manage.
People who now are more comfortable around other people, because of Pokemon GO.
This graph from Bloomberg is the kind of story mainstream media understands. It's a comparison of Nintendo's market capitalisation — the combined value of a company's shares — against Sony's.
Nintendo almost doubled in value because of a single game. That's A Big Story. That's money. That's something that's easily understood.
But as of this morning, that price is starting to fall. Nintendo shares finished trade at ¥31,770 yesterday Japanese time. The lowest point in today's trade so far: ¥26,885.
It doesn't really matter that the stock price was ¥13,380 just over three weeks ago. Or the fact that Pokemon GO is yet to properly take off in Japan, one of the companies biggest markets. Or that Pokemon Sun and Moon will sell like hotcakes when it's released. And then there's still the NX question.
The Pokemon GO bubble has burst. That's the narrative floating around. Not the fact that people have rediscovered a franchise, en masse, and have found new ways to engage with people on the street that they would have never said hello to.
People are becoming physically uncomfortable because of Pokemon GO. That's the story you hear. Not the fact that a wild Pikachu or Charizard has motivated them to walk more than their own interest in their well-being could ever do. And certainly not the fact that people are using their new-found love of exercise to raise money for charity.
Businesses and museums are banning the game. Those are the headlines you read. Not the fact that nowhere in Australia has explicitly done so, or the fact that RSLs, cafes, pubs and vendors around the country have used nearby Pokestops and Gyms as an agile form of promotion, a fun way to reconnect with their customers.
People are staring at their phones, not talking to each other, disconnected from the real world. Those are the complaints, from newspapers, presenters and shock jocks. Even though the sense of community has exploded in ways nobody could have possibly imagined. Even though Pokemon fans are now more connected than those complaining will ever understand.