Pokemon Go released yesterday, a charming mobile/tablet based game with free download from the app store allowing people to walk around in the real world collecting the digital Pokemon which can be found in areas close to them. The concept of the game is brilliant, enabling people to connect with others who have a similar interests by bumping into them in the real world and in their local area, it could create friendships and allow you to find a new group of friends.
But there is a downside.
Children, Pokemon although played by many adults all around the world is mainly marketed for children. It is a game that children can connect with, with it’s bright colours, unique graphics and fun storytelling capabilities. But the truth is, children lack common sense. Children will not always look left and right at a road, even if that’s what there parents have always taught them to do, a child may not see a danger in going down a dark alley at night to find Pikachu. But adults can.
Anyone playing Pokemon Go over the age of sixteen should be responsible enough to not go anywhere deserted or dangerous in the dark, especially alone. Adults especially are less likely to have anything bad happen to them while playing the game because they are already used to real world dangers. Eighteen year old girls usually go to the bathroom together at parties and clubs, and they walk home together; this is because they know that there is safety in numbers and the more of them there are the less danger they are in. But do children really understand the concept of staying safe?
Children don’t see danger in the same way as adults, and therefore they are much less likely to be on their guard when they are trying desperately to capture the new Charizard that just appeared in the fields down the road from their house. When there out playing with the strict instructions to not leave their estate, but just out of reach is a Pokemon are they really going to obey their parents wishes when the reward is just within their grasp?
Understandably some parents will. But I imagine a lot of parents are more worried about showing their kids nudity, strong language, sex scenes, or violence and when you see an age rating of thirteen it clearly doesn’t include any of that. So some parents will be letting their under thirteens play the game without properly understanding what it may mean. And even if they were to read it, they might not even get a chance because it’s just a couple of tick boxes on a download screen and most kids are better with that technology than there parents.
I am by no means saying that the Pokemon Go is a bad game concept, because in all honesty it’s pretty genius, but it only takes one child to sneak out of bed with their IPAD at three in the morning and get lost/kidnapped/injured for the game to gain a reputation as a reckless-inducing danger to children.
Whether you play Pokemon Go for nostalgic reasons to relive your childhood, or you are a child playing this game on your own or with friends just be aware of your surroundings. Getting your favourite animated creature is not worth crossing the road without checking it’s clear, finding a super rare Pokemon isn’t worth you falling down an embankment because you weren’t concentrating on where you’re going.
To all children playing this, ask your parents to go with you if your not with friends who would be able to get help if you need it. It’s just a way of keeping you and your friends safe. You being there protects your friends because if anything bad were to happen you can get help from your family, neighbours, or even the police. And your friends will be able to do that for you too.
And to all the parents. Make sure that your children are safe, go with them to find Pokemon, take a detour on the way to relatives houses so that you know they aren’t going there on their own. If you want your children to experience this really fun way of playing a game they are likely to already know and love, then make it an activity for the family. That way you know that there safe, and they know they are too.
Since launch many injuries all around the globe have been linked with people playing Pokemon Go. The Australian PoliceThe Australian Police have even issues a statement to it’s citizens asking them to play the game responsibly and look after themselves, and to not ignore their potentially harmful surroundings.
On Friday Morning someone found a dead body while out hunting down their Pokemon. The emotional scars left from that event are likely to be quite traumatising. (Yes it is better that the body was found, and luckily by an adult but can you imagine the emotional and psychological damage this could have done if a child had been the one to find the body!?)
A man reportedly playing Pokemon Go stopped his car suddenly in the middle of a highway causing a multiple car pile-up in the centre of the highway. Nobody was seriously injured but concerns have been raised prompting the hashtag #dontpokemongoanddrive to begin trending on various social media.
<blockquote class=”twitter-video” data-lang=”en-gb”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>The true cost of <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/PokemonGO?src=hash”>#PokemonGO</a> <a href=”https://t.co/gZUNzInUk7″>pic.twitter.com/gZUNzInUk7</a></p>— RickyFTW (@rickyftw) <a href=”https://twitter.com/rickyftw/status/751145170859503621″>7 July 2016</a></blockquote>
Twitter user RickyFTW made a parody of the highway incident, with the title: ‘The true cost of PokemonGO.
Apparently employers are also becoming tired of their employees spending their time catching Pokemon rather than doing their job, with one unidentified workplace making this to go up in the establishment: