In this era of mobile technology, video games have never been more popular. Among them, Pokemon by Nintendo is considered
to be one of the most beloved games with the biggest fan base around the globe.
Since its creation 17 years ago, Pokemon has dominated the field of mobile
games, especially with the latest version of Pokemon Go released early July,
Within a matter of few days, Pokemon
Go instantly went viral, not only in the U.S. but around the world. Based on
reports by Survey Monkey, Pokemon Go attracted more than 20 million daily
active users in the United States alone (Lovelace Jr., 2016).
As expected, the widely popular game
reached number one on App Store and became the hottest game of 2016, topping
the existing big games like indie
hit Slither.io and Supercell's blockbuster Clash Royale (ibid.).
Unlike the original game, Pokemon Go is an augmented reality experience, allowing
the players to find and catch Pokémon characters in the real world. The game is
played passionately by different age groups across the board.
Since the release of the game, it is easy to find flocks of children,
teenagers, and young adults gathering together to play the game in concert in
various places of the community. At different times of the day, an increasing
number of people are out and about with their mobile phones, busily walking on
the streets in pursuit of the Pokemon characters.
Its fervor seems to be growing at an outrageous pace every day almost to the
point of obsession, simultaneously causing some safety concerns.
The Pokemon Go craze is an unprecedented cultural phenomenon and its impact
seems to be extending far beyond the simple function of leisure or pleasure it
was originally designed to serve.
For and Against
Among its fans, Pokemon Go is touted
as a means to socialize, connect, and mingle with people who would otherwise
remain isolated and disconnected. It is argued that more kids and adults alike
can now use Pokemon Go as a vehicle through which they can make new friends
and enjoy new experiences together.
On the other hand, some players are taking the game to the extreme level,
posing serious safety risks to themselves as well as others in the process.
Reportedly, some players slipped and fell while others crashed into cars. According
to the Texas A&M University police department, a player in Texas exited a
moving vehicle to catch a nearby Pokémon. Subsequently, a 15-year-old of Tarentum, Pennsylvania, was struck by a car after the game took
her across a major highway (Panken, 2016).
The game can continue to wreak havoc if/when heedlessly played.
Most recently, a body was recently found floating in the local river in Wyoming,
four players were reportedly mugged in Missouri, and two others were robbed in
a California park — all while playing the game (ibid.).
In response to these grave safety risks, authorities are issuing proactive
warnings to ensure public safety. Police departments in New York, Miami, Austin
and Los Angeles have already released their lists of safety tips as a
preventive measure aimed at curtailing further Pokémon Go accidents (ibid.).
Players are advised to be alert at all times. When playing in pairs or
groups, it is important to remain in well-lit areas and avoid driving or riding
any devices such as bikes or skateboards while engaging in the app. It would also
be critical to stay aware of the surroundings so as to avoid being lured into
unsafe areas or bad situations (ibid).
every new invention, many benefits may be reaped. At the same time, such
benefits could be compromised if not wisely or properly leveraged with its potential
it comes to Pokemon Go, it almost seems un-human for people to have to rely on a
virtual reality to live out the real reality.
some ways, it is even a sadder reality that people have to rely on a mobile
game to reclaim the very root of the human nature to be interpersonal and
when the human reality is as finite as it is, it may be worth re-examining how
we are maximizing the limited time we are given here and now.
there may actually be a better, more humanly possible way to live the present
without having to rely on the augmented reality at the risk of our own safety
and humanity at large.
Lovelace Jr, B. Special to
CNBC. July 13, 2016. Pokemon Go Is Now the Biggest Mobile Game in U.S. History. Retrieved from http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/pokemon-go-now-biggest-mobile-game-u-s-history-n608586
E. July 13, 2016. NBC News. As Pokémon Go Consumes Country, Police Nationwide
Issue Safety Tips. Retrieved from http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/pok-mon-go-consumes-country-police-nationwide-issue-safety-tips-n608816?cid=par-line