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Pokemon Go or Pokemon NO!

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Jul. 16th, 2016 | 12:39 am
居場所: My Rock
気持ち: indescribable indescribable
音楽: Surfing

It has been over a week since the release of Pokemon Go and those who know me, are well aware of my love for the cute cartoony creatures.  Since the apps release, there have been many critiques about the game and after spending some time trying to catch ‘em all, I decided I would share some of my thoughts and observations.

After downloading the game and spending the first day just trying to figure out the ins and outs, I discovered that there is more to the game than I was aware of.  First, it didn’t help that there were no guides when I downloaded the app on what to do.  I had to figure out what to do at Poke-stops and gyms, how to catch Pokemon, what to do when my supply of poke balls was running low and more.  Luckily, there were many helpful people on the way of my quest to becoming a poke-trainer.  This is one aspect of the game I found unique: the sense of community for an online game offline.

Whether socializing with strangers was part of the developers plan or not, it happens.  When you are walking to a Poke-stop and notice someone with their phone in hand and walking in the same direction, you get that “I know what you’re doing” feeling.  It a conversation starter.  “What Pokemon do you have?”  “Did you know there was a ______ by Starbucks?”  etc.  Even an introvert could use the sheer fact of Pokemon catching to ease out of their shell and meet new people.  On one Facebook post, a parent shared how the game help her autistic child socialize as well!  On the other hand, people still unaware of the game look at poke-fans with their phones and may be thinking, “what in the world are these lolos doing?”  There is, unfortunately, the other side of socializing, entrapment.

Within my trial week, there were news of “bad” people using the game for “evil” purposes.  In case you didn’t know, a group of teens actually used a Poke-stop to rob Poke-trainers.  The game does a great job of having people socialize, but I am sure the developers didn’t intend the opposite end of that equation.  Luckily, the four teens were prosecuted for their crime and those crying “Pokemon No” used the incident as a strong argument against the game.  But, that’s is not the game’s fault.

Upon start up, the app clearly states, “be aware of your surroundings at all time.”  Some Poke-fans have begun to adjust to the news and started traveling in groups to Poke-stops.  Children walk with their parents for their safety.  Single players, I hope, are either walking with someone proceeding to the same stop, or stopping, checking their surrounding and using their best judgements and instincts, and making their move as quickly as possible to avoid any unfortunate incidents.

Speaking of moving around, this may have been one latent intent of the developers: getting people off the couch, out of the house, and out in the real world.  In order to hatch an egg (which is found randomly at a Poke-stop) a trainer needs to walk either 2, 5, or 10KM!  I am sure the desire to hatch an egg is strong and what is making all these Poke-fans to stand up and walk!  Of course there are those mechanically inclined who “cheat” the system, but I actually enjoy a few extra steps towards fitness to claim some digital prizes.  I just make sure that I don’t take my walking too far.

It has been reported that Poke-trainers are taking their travels too far and trespassing, or putting their lives in jeopardy.  Their claim is, “I was going for the rare Pokemon!”  Talk about bringing the anime to real life.  Ash Ketchum and company were notorious for trespassing and going places they shouldn’t.  The difference?  I don’t think there was a strong legal system in the anime to keep Ash and his friends in check.  In our society and world, there are places you are limited to and those playing the game need to strongly heed the opening words of the app:  “BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS.”  The game does not immune you to laws on trespassing.  Nor is it to blame if you decide to pull a Sylvester Stallone and become a cliffhanger.  If you decide to trespass, you are committing a crime.  That is not the game, nor the developers fault. THAT’S YOUR FAULT!

Reports continue to fill my Facebook feed about “Pokemon Go made me do this,” or “Pokemon Go made my child do that.”  I respectfully disagree with all claims.  Pokemon Go does not make you open the app and use it while driving, that was a choice YOU made!  Pokemon Go did not make your child cross a highway for a Pokemon, YOUR CHILD made that choice to cross the highway.  YOUR CHILD should know that 1 ton of hard plastic and metal is strong and will hurt.  YOUR CHILD should have known NOT to cross in the first place.  Finally, where were YOU when YOUR CHILD made that choice?  Why did YOU not have that conversation about safety with YOUR CHILD?  In short, take responsibility for your actions and stop trying to use the game as a scapegoat for YOU or YOUR CHILD’S actions that lead you to break laws or put your life in danger.

I do not plan to stop using the app.  I use it when I am walking (I want to hatch them eggs) and I keep complete vigilance of my surroundings while walking or gathering materials from the Poke-stops.  I recommend other players do the same.  Finally, be respectful of where you’re walking.  cemeteries should not be bombarded with trainers, especially during a funeral service.  It was not acceptable before the release of Pokemon Go, and using the app now still doesn’t make it ok either.

If you are still against the game, that is your choice.  I didn’t write this to persuade anyone to download and play.  I just wanted to share my thoughts on what I had been noticing during my one week of game play.  If you are playing, then hope to go hunting with you soon (or even trading a few Pokemon).  Be safe and play responsibly.

References:

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-wiltshire-36805615 This is about a group of teens stuck in a cave (my most recent find). 

http://www.wpxi.com/news/mom-says-teenage-daughter-hit-by-car-in-tarentum-after-playing-pokemon-go/399354824 Teen being hit by car.  Mom insists it’s the game’s fault.  My point:  no, it’s not the game’s fault.  The mom downloaded the game for her daughter and from the report, one can infer that there was no discussion about traffic safety.  Furthermore, the girl is 15!  Seriously?  The daughter should know better in regards to highways (in my opinion).

http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/15/health/pokemon-go-players-fall-down-cliff/

The “Cliffhangers” I mentioned.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2016/07/10/four-suspects-arrested-string-pokemon-go-related-armed-robberies/86922474/

The DARKSIDE!  I love the response to some of the response from the players:  “don’t let this discourage you from playing the game.”  True words!

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