What is Pokemon Go?
Does this look familiar? Rarely am I in the loop on trending technology and this past week was no different. Pokémon GO was released on July 6th. What is Pokemon go? you ask. It’s a smartphone app where gamers attempt to catch cute little critters on screen, while out and about in the real world. I think I saw a post or two about it on Facebook, but I paid little attention. Not until Monday, when the rage hit home.
Monday morning, I drove out my usual route and saw a group of middle schoolers gathered at the local common. It’s summer, so that was no surprise. I observed every kid in the group nose to phone. Again not surprised – such a sad reflection of society today.
I went about my day and not until dusk did Pokémon GO strike again. Just Julia and I were home and when I passed by my front door I noticed a young man, maybe 15-18, squatting down across the street. He was looking at his phone and appeared innocent enough. I saw him in the same spot 10 minutes later – I thought that was odd. I called Julia over to see if she recognized him – she didn’t. No need to panic, but I locked up just in case. Julia and I kept watch – when the guy began repeatedly walking back and forth past our house; all the while face in phone, I started to get nervous. I called Tony who said he’d head right home from a work event, then I called my neighbor down the street. Neighborhood crime watch was in effect and we decided a call to the police business line was warranted. Just as I was about to dial, I saw my neighbors from up the street on an evening stroll. By this time the “stalker” had walked slightly out of view. I frantically waved over my dear friends to alert them of the lurker. I explained the scenario and without hesitation they both said, “Oh, he’s Poké hunter.” A what?
They explained it was all part of the Pokemon Go craze, to which I promptly asked, “What is Pokemon Go?” I had not idea what they were talking about. Now, however, I notice every Pokémon player I pass. Soon enough I became aware of the pros, but mostly cons of this funny phenomenon.
- Kids are getting out and exploring the world outdoors (albeit with their face in phone)
- Kids are banding together in the spirit of fun and games (albeit with their face in phone)
- Kids are actively combating summer boredom all on their own (albeit with their face in phone)
- Kids’ faces are still in their phones
- Kids aren’t watching where they are going – They are crashing their bikes and I almost ran over a boy who stepped into the road without bothering to look up.
- It’s dangerous – phone locations are being tracked. In some cases players are being lured into very precarious situations. Just yesterday, this article came out in the Wall Street Journal.
- If you’re not careful, crazy moms, like me, will call the cops on you because you’re loitering suspiciously outside our homes.
- Finally, it’s a quick drain on your phone’s battery.
In the end
While it seems the cons outweigh the pros, I don’t discount this new age of game play, but as a mom I would like to see the safety kinks worked out before I say go ahead, “Catch ‘em all.”
Pokemon Go has provided great entertainment for all the visiting cousins staying with us this week. I am in awe how this one app has really captured the world’s attention so fast! Once the novelty wears off, I bet everyone will forget about it just as fast.
I was at a baseball game this week and a group in front of us kept “catching Pokémons ” instead of watching the game. I find it fascinating and scary at the same time!
I found out about it last week when granddaughter asked me to put the app on my phone. Did not have any knowledge of it and then read about a stalking incident related to Pokemon Go!
Great article Beth – Liv was at camp this week and asked me if she could download this new app that “everyone” had – Since I had no clue what it was, I told her I’d have to look into first – glad I have a little more insight before we take the plunge.
I was at The Boston Opera House last night and people were frantically on their phones trying to catch Pokemons on stage!!!
There are a couple of other Cons that you missed………kids are on their phones off of wireless so it is costing us all more money as they are using huge data. Also, i am not so sure we want all those adult gamers off the couch and out in public running around with our kids…….just saying…..great article and scary new app/game.
More great points! Thanks Ed. I am sure there are even more concerns yet to be realized.