Pokemon Go-ing to kill someone?

pikachu-1207146_640
Pikachu toys on sale in store, reportedly a multi-car pile-up was caused on an American highway because the driver was trying to catch Pikachu in the road.

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.

Pokemon_collection
Pokemon trading cards graced playgrounds of schools all over the world in the mid 90’s just prior to the release of the first Pokemon video game in February 1996.

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?

8515302219_764c0450f0_z
Pokemon Go doesn’t have the ability to tell dangerous areas from safer ones, and children may not have the ability to avoid these areas of danger. https://www.flickr.com/photos/sobermusings/8515302219

I understand that the age rating for Pokemon Go is 13, which I genuinely believe is the age where a child should be aware enough to go out on their own or with a group of friends. If the child is under 13 then it is up to the parents to agree to the terms of use states in the download contract, but is a child really going to explain to their parents exactly what the game is? And is a parent really going to read through the whole contract?

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.

pexels-photo (1)
Pokemon Go could be turned into a family activity where adults and children spend the day in the fresh air, and the children have adult supervision and can be kept safe.

 

UPDATE:

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!?)

Capture
Various social media users explaining the consequences of using PokemonGO on the road, using the hashtag #dontpokemonGOanddrive

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&gt; <a href=”https://t.co/gZUNzInUk7″>pic.twitter.com/gZUNzInUk7</a></p>&mdash; RickyFTW (@rickyftw) <a href=”https://twitter.com/rickyftw/status/751145170859503621″>7 July 2016</a></blockquote>
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

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:

pokemongo
Uploaded to Twitter by Tanya Covington with the caption “So it begins. Haha. #PokemonGO

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s