Back in 1998, I was a recent grad from college, working at my dream job of telemarketer, and I would get super bored between calls. Luckily, I had a Nintendo Game Boy and I had discovered this new game called Pokemon. It captured my imagination, because it was about being a 10 year old. A 10 year old who basically got the go ahead from his parents to obtain a Pokemon or “Pocket Monster” who would fight other Pokemon and they would level up and get stronger. When it first came out it was a big hit and no one thought about how disturbing it was for these crazy things to happen. But you know, it was a video game, and it was escapism. I continued to be enchanted by the whole “Gotta Catch Em All” theme and the evolution of the characters. If you worked with one more for a while, there was a chance that it would evolve and become a cooler and stronger Pokemon. My parents probably hoped that I would someday evolve too, but that is a different story that we will never talk about again.
Anyways, recently (about a week ago) an app came out called Pokemon Go, which for long time fans is kind of a cool thing. It’s basically the same premise as the original game, expect it is on your smartphone, which means you have GPS capabilities and a camera. So basically it wants you to go outside, and with your GPS, track the Pokemon down, “in real life”. Because of this, Pokemon is getting headlines for all the wrong reasons. Some people are so focused on catching these things that they are forgetting about their real life environment, and they are getting in dangerous situations.
There are some pretty great fake stories about how people are getting themselves in trouble. One fake story is about how some kid was trying to track down one in a dangerous area of his town, and he got mugged and beaten for his phone. Guess that guy was trying to catch em all. All the smartphones.
And another story about a kid who ran into the middle of a busy highway/freeway (whatever they call those things that cause traffic) and caused a massive pileup. The kid was just trying to be the best Pokemon trainer. Can you blame him for wanting to run into traffic? I mean he’s 10 years old. Clearly he’s old enough not only be left to his own devices, but to have his own device (a smartphone), and be granted permission by his family to play in traffic. Luckily that is fake, but there are some real stories too.
Like the Australian Police office that happens to be one of the locations of a Pokemon. So many people are coming into the police office looking for a Pokemon, that the police are having to issue a statement telling people that police work is going on there, so please don’t come inside and ask for the Pokemon, we need to work here. And they keep having to tell people that they can catch the Pokemon outside.
All these are dangerous things, but none more dangerous to me than one little word in title. The word Go. This implies moving. Getting up. Walking. Exercise. None of which are anything that I’m remotely interested in. In order to capture them, you have to move in real life. Gross. I’ve got a couch to think about. I’ve got a remote control that would feel neglected. I’ve got a fridge that needs some attention. And how can all these special things in my life get the attention they deserve, if I’m up. And moving and out capturing things.
You’ve gone too far Pokemon Go. I played almost every version of Pokemon. I spent hours and hours trying to catch them all. I’ve spent every last cent of my children’s inheritance on the game systems, the games, the accessories and every game just so I could catch them all. And this is what I get for my loyalty? A game where I have to move around? A game I can’t blame from the couch? A game I can’t play while in a car?
You’ve finally gone too far Pokemon. You finally got on the camel and placed an extra straw on it, causing the back of the camel to break. And along with that you broke my heart. How could you Pokemon? How could you betray me like this? Never again.
Bitter Lay on the Couch and Not Pokemon Go