Whether or not you play, you've heard about it endlessly. People running around, throwing virtual Pokeballs at creatures, comparing their Pokemon and representing their teams. Pokemon Go has taken pop culture by storm. It's everywhere. The kids have it. College students play. Grown adults are getting into it. The little older woman who bakes at my job even has it. You might love it, you might hate it or you might understand nothing about it, but Pokemon Go is definitely a big deal right now. And because so many people are talking about it, I decided to jump in on the action. Here's my list of pros and cons about Pokemon Go.
Pro: It gets people moving
I absolutely love the concept of Pokemon Go because it's a game that's meant to get you outside and walking around. What a great way to encourage physical activity! The game quite literally requires you to explore your surroundings in order to capture Pokemon. The avatar moves as you move in the real world, and while some people try to cheat and drive while playing (which is a horrible idea, by the way), walking is the best way to catch the creatures necessary for game play. So now, you can play and exercise at the same time. Genius.
Con: It steals peoples' attention
This is the big one that has people concerned, me included. I've heard stories of people walking off of cliffs, getting into serious accidents and being robbed at gunpoint while playing. I cannot stress enough how much this upsets me. I realize that the game is really fun and super important to some people, but pay attention to your surroundings! It's told to users each time they open the app for a reason. At the end of the day, Pokemon go is just a game. It is not worth hurting yourself or other people.
Pro: It promotes a sense of unity among its players
I've had conversations with a number of strangers and casual acquaintances this week that were about Pokemon. It's crazy how many people play, and it's so cool to see how everyone who uses the app interacts with other trainers (people who play). I love being able to connect with so many different people about what Pokemon we've caught, where to find the best creatures, strategies and tips. It has bonded different age groups, different friend groups and complete strangers.
Con: It keeps users glued to their phones
We already live in a culture obsessed with media and technology, and Pokemon Go is not helping. Users of the app spend even more time on their mobile devices, and as fun as the game can be, this isn't a great thing. It's important to remember that Pokemon isn't all-consuming, and that it's not a substitute for social interaction or other parts of life. You can find yourself wasting a lot of time playing if you're not careful.
Pro: It's extremely fun
I did not understand the Pokemon hype until I started playing Pokemon Go, but man, this game is fun! I love seeing all the different types of Pokemon that exist, and catching new ones is such a thrilling experience. Pokemon are very interesting things, and it's cool to train them up to fight better and see how they change as you pour experience into them. Plus, the collecting is just awesome.
Con: It's extremely addicting
I personally feel compelled to play this game way too much. I find myself wanting to play when I'm bored at work, or when I'm supposed to be doing something else. The game's fun atmosphere can often leave users wanting more constantly. Seeing what Pokemon surround you, trying to hunt new species, training at gyms or battling is always fun, and users always want to play.
Pro: It gets people to further explore the world around them
There are things around me that I was missing out on! I found some pretty cool new places downtown in my area because of Pokestops (places you can go to receive items). The game also encourages users to explore and be aware of the world around them as they play. You can end up in some pretty cool places and see some pretty cool things when playing.
Con: It can be stressful and frustrating sometimes
In Pokemon Go, you're always hunting for new Pokemon or training or battling others. This can leave people on edge, in a constant state of heightened emotion or intensity. Also, let's be honest: It stinks when a Pokemon escapes from you or you lose a battle. If you're not looking for any extra stress or frustration in your life and you're a person who becomes very invested in games or missions, this app might make you a little tense.
There's a lot more to Pokemon Go than just these pros and cons, and personally, I think it's worth a try if you're thinking about playing! It's definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but the app is a pretty darn cool thing.