Where Exactly Is 'Pokémon Go' Taking Us?
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Where Exactly Is 'Pokémon Go' Taking Us?

I mean, no other choice but to "Go" with the flow--complete with GIFs!

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Where Exactly Is 'Pokémon Go' Taking Us?
Iphone Hacks

By now, I am sure each and every one of you has either played the mobile game or have seen flocks of individuals wandering the streets to capture Pokémon and fight gym battles.

As some background, "Pokémon Go" uses augmented reality to place a Pokémon right in front of the player. Using your cell phone’s GPS and camera, for the first time, players, get to participate in a version of the Pokémon world, and the level of excitement is outstanding.

In just less than a week, the game has become the most downloaded app on both the Apple Store and on Google Play, and has millions of players in the countries in which it was released. Fueled by nostalgia, "Pokémon Go" has caught people of all ages trying their best to conquer gyms and "catch 'em all." Even I have caught the bug, leaving my house every night and walking about two miles in search of new Pokémon to catch and level up.

With all of this excitement, augmented reality may be the new "thing" that mobile developers have been waiting for.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F07%2F15%2F636041613148390948-1519114295_2b9.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=313&h=08287197df2ac25deaa2d280f6418f22880fa6d0573f850c292f4ac35f8529da&size=980x&c=1284718746 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F07%252F15%252F636041613148390948-1519114295_2b9.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D313%26h%3D08287197df2ac25deaa2d280f6418f22880fa6d0573f850c292f4ac35f8529da%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1284718746%22%7D" expand=1]

Augmented reality, as I briefly mentioned earlier, digitally integrates the virtual world with the real one, and many would argue improving it for the better. And why not? With this technology, we can create a world a with a little more color, get active doing it and bring our friends along for the ride, too. However, I cannot help but feel a slight hesitation.

During my evening excursions, I estimate that half of the foot traffic I saw was a result of "Pokémon Go." People are running around, pointing their phones out to the world and searching for something that does not exist. Gathering and improving something that is essentially worthless bits of pixels and data. The purpose of augmented reality is to make the world a better place, right? Make it more enjoyable and allow us to achieve things that are otherwise impossible.

Bur what if playing "Pokémon Go" is also taking something away from us? Sometimes it is hard to remember that this week has also been marked by immense amounts of racially-charged violence. That during this last week, a country warned its citizens about traveling to the U.S. and to keep all interaction with the police down to a minimum, if possible. Maybe we have forgotten about the refugee crisis in Europe and the shockwaves of Brexit. Or that we still have a candidate for president using discrimination, derogatory comments and lies to generate hatred in voters. In what way is our country better off than it was a week ago?

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F07%2F15%2F636041615001367850-248665882_6MfIL.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=376&h=7940a54392013553c6ffa48b2fa3b80073673578063f4757f9aecdcb79a5865e&size=980x&c=263626383 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F07%252F15%252F636041615001367850-248665882_6MfIL.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D376%26h%3D7940a54392013553c6ffa48b2fa3b80073673578063f4757f9aecdcb79a5865e%26size%3D980x%26c%3D263626383%22%7D" expand=1]

Augmented reality is meant to make the world a better place, but therein lies the problem. It is not real. It is a digitally enhanced world that follows a set of codes to execute a task.

Don’t get me wrong, I love every aspect about "Pokémon Go." I believe that it is getting more people outside, walking and actually socializing than social media ever did or could do. However, I fear the possibilities of a false reality that can distract us from the terrible current events of our country and the world. I am afraid that we will choose to hide from the pain and, rather than working toward a solution, we will end up running from the problem.

Please, enjoy this new Pokémon reality that has been created, but do not forget the actual world we live in. Do not brush past the troubles of others and live solely in augmented reality. Because while you struggle to level up that bright and colorful smudge on your phone, there are people out there who are struggling to be socially and politically accepted. While you chase that dream of being a Pokémon master, remember that there are those who chase a life free of bombs, kidnappings and murder. Enjoy your time in "Pokémon Go," but do not forget that your work there will translate to nothing out here.

Oh, hey, I just caught a Pikachu.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F07%2F15%2F6360416180262226711175045733_N6uX8.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=169&h=5c84047cc19fccd9ac44affad2b0a79c5ad03d70efeaa4a1df0b7f07e0c44147&size=980x&c=1127572427 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F07%252F15%252F6360416180262226711175045733_N6uX8.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D169%26h%3D5c84047cc19fccd9ac44affad2b0a79c5ad03d70efeaa4a1df0b7f07e0c44147%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1127572427%22%7D" expand=1]

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