As I’ve said before, the internet is a weird place. Although it can be terrifying and completely disturbing, it can also be the single greatest place you’ve ever visited. Just like any other place you would vacation to or live in, the internet has news, legends and phenomena.
The internet’s latest phenomenon is a game that’s taken our favorite franchise’s fans by storm. “Pokémon Go” is an app on smart phones that allows you to find Pokémon characters in the real world. You can catch a Bulbasaur in your mom’s garden or maybe even a Cloyster in the local pool.
Technology really has come far, allowing you to point your phone’s camera in real-life places to collect all of the characters, go to Pokémon gyms, and even battle other Pokémon.
Don’t know what Pokémon is? Pokémon, a shortened version of the term Pocket Monster, is a Japanese-turned-international franchise that follows the adventures of Ash and his friends in their fun world. Rather than different species of animals, Ash’s world has Pokémon: fierce little – or very, very big – creatures of all shapes, colors and sizes.
Just like our ocean, tundra and forest animals, Pokémon come from differing biomes and environments. The objective Ash has in the television show is the same objective you have in the card or cellphone game: catch and train Pokémon to become a Master Trainer.
Okay, now that you’ve been filled in, I’m sure you might be wondering why this all matters to you. Social media has been blowing up, everyone posting and sharing their catches and funny moments with the game. People of all ages have been fawning and bragging about the game; however, many people see the app in a different light. This seemingly harmless game may be something you want watch out for.
There have been hundreds of complaints about the game crashing or un-authorizing people from logging in; and even more complaints about people playing the game unsafely.
Several news outlets have spoken about players walking in front of cars and running into buildings and people. One case in Wyoming led a player to find a dead body. Four teenage robbers in Missouri lured players by making a beacon, notifying players that more Pokémon could be found where they were. They then proceeded to rob several people before police took them into custody. Over the weekend, two players accidentally walked off the edge of an ocean bluff in San Diego.
Although catching Charmander across the street may seem important, it is more important that players watch where they’re going and stay focused on their surroundings. My advice would be to have friends around when going to unfamiliar places while playing the game.
Stay safe out there, trainers, and good luck on your quest. From prints on paper to musings in your mind, my name’s Hannah. Thanks for reading.