Pokemon GO: The Cultural Phenomenon

pokemon go spelled out
Pokemon GO, google images

Since it was first released a few weeks ago, Pokemon Go has become a national and cultural phenomenon. The reality phone app game allows players to walk around their town/city to catch the fictional creatures known as Pokemon. Players are also able to control different locations known as Pokemon gyms and can set lures, which are used to lure in Pokemon to certain locations. The game is not only popular with kids but many in their mid-to-late 20s, as they grew up watching the original Pokemon series.

If you haven’t heard already (which you probably already have) the Pokemon Go app uses GPS and real time as you play. The game will notify you when a Pokemon is near and the player will then have to find and catch it. That’s when things start to get dangerous. Players are so enthralled by the game that, even though the app tells them to, they become less aware of their surroundings.

While the game is great for getting exercise, meeting new people and bringing some nostalgia to the older players, their are many downsides to the game. Since people aren’t paying attention to their surroundings, there have been multiple reports of people walking into the street, onto private property and two people even walked off of a cliff. Two men in San Diego weren’t paying attention while playing, which the opening screen reminds you to do, and fell many stories off of an E Street cliff. The injuries of their fall is unknown.

While some are accidentally walking into different areas, increasing the number of police calls due to some areas being private property, others are doing it intentionally. Two players trespassed into the live tiger exhibit at the Toledo Zoo in Ohio. Both of the players were banned from the zoo and criminally charged with trespassing. They seemed to be more upset about the fact that they wouldn’t be able to control the Pokemon gym located at the zoo anymore, though. Some things just seem to be more important than others.

The dedication of these Pokemon Go players is undeniable but that’s not always a good thing. Some are even going as far as trying to catch Pokemon while driving simultaneously. Texting and driving is bad enough but it looks like the popular game is adding to the mix. Playing while driving was proven ineffective when a driver slammed into a Baltimore police car during the process. Paying attention while driving is key to not get into an accident, especially when the accident may involve a police car. Phones down. Heads up and eyes forward.

Now, we’re not saying not to play but instead to always be careful when you do play. A lot of good and interesting stories have come out of this game. Along with these stories, there are several others here, both good and bad, including two marines who were able to catch a suspicious man who was approaching several families and even approached a child on the jungle gym. Both of the marines were playing Pokemon GO in the park when they noticed the suspicious activity. It’s a good thing, too, since the man was wanted in an attempted murder case.

On a lighter note, another story includes a man from New Zealand who quit his job in order to travel and to catch all 151 Pokemon. Now, that’s real dedication right there. One can only wonder what he’ll do after catching ’em all, though. Time will only tell.

The safety of yourself and others is very important and this is a friendly reminder to ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings, don’t Pokemon and drive, and to keep safe! With that in mind, we wish you the best of luck on catching all 151 Pokemon. Get those pokeballs and catch ’em all!

Sources: CNN, USA TODAY

Photo Credits: Google Images