Pokemon Go – Do Something Else

(Is this the pathetic fallacy our future is trying to tell us?)

Pokemon Go, we’ve all heard about it by now and have our own opinions. Whether you like it or not the app is popular and people are buying into it like any other video game craze that has hit the Western World in the past few years. But I pose the question to you; is it good? Or more importantly, is it worthwhile?

I have been travelling around Europe the past six months and during the second half of my journey I noticed something. All of a sudden people crowded the streets with their phone in hand swiping up to catch a Pigeot or Weedle. Not just children, middle aged and older generations joined them in a hunt “to catch them all”. At first I liked the idea as I would consider myself a bit of a gamer. I grew up when the Xbox Original and PlayStation One first came out so I have played games from Spyro to Skyrim and have had hours of fun on mobile phone apps since the Smart Phone era started. So for an app like Pokemon Go to come out I was, at first, very excited.

Ultimately, however, I got bored. It wasn’t for me and a lot of people seem to have the same opinion with 12 million people already uninstalling the app since it reached superstar status in July. That hasn’t stopped people coming out in the masses to be the next Ash Ketchum though.

Have we gone too far this time? As I’ve walked through streets in countries I’d never seen before I was knocked by a plethora of people playing the game and with a slight nod they would apologise, no way could they lift their eyes from the screen. Prisoners, attached by a cord to an augmented reality unable to break free to connect with the real world.

I understand that it is generating fun and enjoyment and is adding a new social connection for humans, particularly our youth. For others it’s escapism and some people just really love Pokemon. I get it and I’m not saying we should get rid of the app altogether, banning stuff never seems to work anyway, but like all good things limitation is the key to full enjoyment. Pokemon Go is a drug, it’s addictive and hooks you from the moment you begin your journey, not all drugs are necessarily bad though and with limitation maximum enjoyment can be achieved.

I leave with this thought; we live in our own Pokemon Go, Earth Go if you will, 7 billion+ people (species) are out there and each has their own unique story to share. Open your eyes and go on an adventure, there’s more enjoyment to see in this world than you’re ever going to see through the screen of a phone.