If you haven’t heard of Pokémon Go in the last week who are you? Where do you live? And can I join you please?
Pokémon Go is a game that literally has revolutionized the gaming world with over 23 Million users (and that was just at the time I wrote this) and its GPS like technology among other things. Of course like with most things, it has its lovers and its haters.
Remember that game in the nineties? This is the same character concept reinvented to fit IOS and Android systems. Using algorithms, GPS and other science tech stuff My artist brain does not understand, gamers can catch Pokémon all over the place. The only kicker, is unlike Nintendo or xbox that were stationary, people have to walk out into the real world to catch these truly weird looking characters.
It truly is revolutionary. But like any revolutionary concept it comes with its pros and cons.
Pros: In a world where advancement seems limited, until space travel for the lowly people and flying cars actually become a reality, this technology has changed gaming in my opinion for the better. Gamers are no longer sitting on their booties staring at screens for hours being sedentary. They are getting out. Exploring their environments, and even traveling to new places all to gather Pokémon.
Con: While it is great people are no longer sitting in front of the screen vortex. They still have their heads in their phones. If not more then ever now. I am use to seeing people on their phones as I walk down the street, but it seems like every one is on them and all social interaction has ceased. The Pokémon zombie apocalypse has commenced.
Pro: It is helping people with depression, anxiety, obesity and other illnesses. Because you have to be active to collect Pokémon, gamers are forced to get out of their environment if they want to gather points. It is also creating friendships and commadery something we all need in a time like this.
Con: While it is great that the game is getting people moving, The fact it is still done through a screen is still a major turn off. In a world where we live our lives through Facebook and Instagram and old fashioned communication like a telephone call, snail mail, or heck in person get togethers seem few and far between, adding one more screen thing seems like it defeats the purpose of living in reality instead of a virtual world.
There is also another very serious issue: Which to say it was a con would negate the severity of the situation and that is, because people are so focused on their screens and to catch Pokémon, they are putting their lives and those of others in jeopardy. People have been hit by cars, have caused accidents, have been robbed, as well as other injuries because they were so focused on a virtual reality, they didn’t pay attention to the real one. While, Pokémon does have a warning every time you open the app, it obviously hasn’t been enough to deter people. While I do believe we are all responsible for our own actions, when it begins to harm others, something more needs to be done and while it is in the early days I hope Pokémon will do something to combat this.
What are your thoughts on the new craze? Have you played? Are you a fan? Or are you just begging for it to go away? As always I love to hear from you!
Disclaimer: I admit I never played the game despite being a nineties kid. I preferred my head to be fraught with the next Nancy Drew mystery then worrying about Pikachu. And while I have checked out the game on friend’s phones and interrogated them at length. I have yet to fully immerse myself in the experience. At this point I doubt I will, but I won’t say never ever. Especially if it is as lucrative as this girl makes it out to be. Truly Hashtag Millennial Goals.