Mass shootings, radical terrorist attacks and perhaps one of the most controversial election years of all time, and in the midst of the whirlwind known as 2016 lays the topic on everyone’s mind: Pokémon Go. Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game that has every millennial’s favorite advantage, mobility. Now, I am, in no way, mocking my country. We are the self-proclaimed best country in the world (despite our collective shortcomings), and for good reason. However, it’s no secret that we tend to get swept up in matters that are sometimes, ahem, not that important.
Personally, I struggle with deciding whether this is one of those matters. I’ve seen some of the Pokémon episodes when I was younger. Albeit, never partook in the rush one feels when obtaining a rare card. To be honest, I feel pretty apathetic towards these creatures and have no desire to “catch" any of them─let alone all of them. Yet, as a pop culture fanatic with a borderline obsession with all things trendy, I can’t ignore something this iconic. The entire hubbub forced me to explore what Pokémon Go is about. I almost downloaded it, unfortunately, it took up valuable selfie-storage space. I don’t have to get into the details of the history of Pokémon because (unless you’ve lived under a rock these past 15-years) you probably have some type of knowledge of the whole shebang. Pokémon is transcendent. There are young adults that equate Pokémon to half of their adolescence. Then there are those kids like my 8-year-old nephew, for whom Pokémon is a brand new world ready to be explored. So, I of course acknowledge that even though it’s not my idea of a good time, this craze holds a special place in the hearts of many. However, it’s as if there’s a worldwide great Gatsby-esque party going on, and I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid. The role of party-pooper is always a tough cross to bear, but someone has to do it. I just believe we should reflect on the impact this game is creating.
Pokémon Go is exercise.
Only ignorance would say this game is 100% Satan in app form. Obviously, there are favorable aspects. One of its biggest selling points is that it requires movement. When playing, gamers actually have to leave the comfort of their own couch. And, for those who don’t enjoy normal outdoor activity, this is a positive alternative. If nothing else, Pokémon Go somewhat benefits healthy movement.
Pokémon Go is dangerous.
In all seriousness, there are some scary Pokémon related accidents. Cars have hit people desperately trying to catch them all. While on the hunt there have even been reports of finding dead bodies in certain areas that wouldn’t have necessarily been ventured on if it wasn’t for the game (WTH?!). Some players report being attacked while playing and even robbed.
Pokémon Go is invasive.
If Pokémon was Noah’s Ark, I’m going to be the one animal that passes up on hopping on this entire boat. Is this game evil? It’s most likely not that severe; however, it is yet another distraction to take away from the serious matters around us. Pokemon Go gives into our collective fetish of idolizing a trend. Let’s just hope it doesn’t go as far as opening up the Church of Latter Day Pikachus.