How Far Does Pokemon Go?
PokemonGo, released this summer, quickly swept the world’s gaming and mobile markets by storm, surpassing Tinder and other popular games and apps in mobile usage in its first week.
Players are already selling their levelled-up accounts, for anyone willing to pay a premium to have rare or difficult-to-find creatures.
Adults are distracted at press conferences trying to catch creatures. People are even breaking into buildings and walking right off of cliffs in the effort to catch ‘em all.
The Pokemon struggle is real.
Just this week, there was a stampede in Taiwan, thousands of people crowding a narrow street to get a crack at Snorlax. This image was posted on Facebook, showing hundreds of people packed into the Xinbeitou district to hunt the creature.
Meanwhile, a little closer to home, in New Hampshire, the Manchester Police Department tried to lure fugitives to the station by posting an article that a Charizard had been spotted at the headquarters address. At least one outlaw fell for the trap, resulting in his arrest.
A Vaporeon spotted in Central Park brought out crowds of Pokemon hunters looking to bag the beast.
And the advertising, promotional and revenue craze that will piggyback on the heels of Pokemon Go’s success has only just begun. Businesses, restaurants, and retailers are signing up to be Pokestops, with the implied goal of capitalizing on the influx of new potential customers.
One arena in has taken advantage of their resident creatures by opening up the stadium at certain times, exclusively for Pokemon Go players, for the low admission price of $5. What a deal!
Our current version of reality is a world that is, if not more dangerous than before, at least more easily accessible to the reports of the dangers, from terrorism to natural disasters. With the entire planet at your fingertips, a dose of fantastical escapism, with a side of childlike wonder and carefree, innocent fun, could be just what the doctor ordered.
We are so bombarded with news of school shootings, kidnappings and terror attacks, maybe what we really need is a gentle reminder to go outside and play with our friends.
However, we still need to be careful where we follow our phones. There have been reports of robbers using the game to lure victims to secluded areas, or of people wandering into crime scenes or other inappropriate places. There have also been incidents of people in cars, “looking suspicious” when they were just driving slowly through a neighborhood looking for Pokemon monsters.
So go play, but be safe, pay attention to your surroundings, and for goodness sake, stand up straight!