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Pokémon Go Obsession: What Experts Say

pokémon go

[dropcap]Y[/dropcap]ou have seen it on social media, you’re seeing it all over YouTube – the Pokémon hype is real. Since Niantic released the game on July the 7th, people have gone crazy about it. It started in the United States, Australia and New Zealand and now covers most of the world. Pokémon Go is a game which is played by everyone, not only kids. But there’s more to it than being a simple and naïve game. Pokémon Go has a few downsides, and the next few paragraphs will explain them in brief.


What exactly is Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go is an Android and IOS game in which you have to walk in order to find Pokémon. The game uses Augmented Reality (AR) and the location services which show your immediate area on the screen. Players are supposed to walk to different areas and look for different Pokémon, all towards the same goal – catching all of the 151 one of them. The game has several elements, such as levelling up, choosing a team (Mystic, Valor, Instinct), taking over a gym and controlling it, evolving your Pokémon, etc. Players can also find Poke Eggs which hatch after you have walked 2, 5 or 10 kilometres. If the player moves at speed higher than 10 miles per hour, the game recognizes that the player is not walking or driving a bicycle and does not count the movement towards the distance needed to hatch the egg. So, if you thought about driving a car and cheating – the joke’s on you.


Benefits of the game

Niantic (game developers) announced that they want to engage people into socializing. When playing Pokémon GO, you’re supposed to move, walk into different areas and meet other trainers. Not only do you keep walking all the time (which is a great cardio exercise), but you also get to talk and meet new people. That’s the main goal of Pokémon Go, and so far, the game is doing more than expected.


However, there are a few downsides

Like every other game, Pokémon Go is also packed with a few downsides. While playing the game, players tend to forget themselves and not pay attention to their surroundings. This can cause injuries, like for instance getting hit by a car while crossing the street to catch a Pokémon. Or, bumping into a road sign for not paying attention to where you are going. The game’s main loading page says “stay aware of your surroundings at all time”, which is definitely something all players should do.

The game has many Pokéstops, which are places where one can place lure modules in order to attract wild Pokémon for all players to catch. These Pokéstops have been found everywhere, from highways to cities. Players visit them in order to collect in-game items and poke-balls for free. Several people have been reported using these lure modules to attract children. This is a serious threat and should not be taken lightly. When a lure module is placed, children neglect their natural instincts and the “stranger-danger” is no more. They are exposed to potential paedophiles and criminals who might use this to their advantage. Parents, please, keep both eyes on your children.


Experts are getting involved

Since more and more people tend to enter private areas, police stations and cause problems by trying to catch Pokémon, authorities and experts in many fields have spoken about these issues. Police authorities have forbidden the access to most police stations, with a warning that anyone trespassing in order to catch Pokémon will be taken into custody. Experts from early learning centre suggest that all players should be aware of where they are going and what they are doing in order not to jeopardize his or someone else’s safety. This is a game, and should be enjoyed as such, without crossing the line.

Pokémon Go is definitely a video game that will bring many people out of their houses, make them mingle and socialize. Some will get fit by walking 10 miles a day; others will find a way to make money off it. Bottom line is that everyone will have fun playing it, as long as they pay close attention to their surroundings and avoid potential dangers that come with the game.

Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls, passionate about marketing and everything tech related. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”

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