Friends, don’t let friends play Pokémon go alone unless they are known to be very situationally aware. One or two images will show the problems that arise from not watching what you are doing while playing this game. Consider where the “Pokéstops” are located. By the by that is a name which is just begging for a double entendre meaning. Much of the danger stems from the very thing that makes this game almost unique, it is based on augmented reality. The space you play in is comprised of the very streets, buildings, and hazards of the real world. Hence you need to be as warry as you would in the real world.
It did promote physical activity.
That said, Pokémon Go did get me to walk a distance I have only gone on the elliptical lately.
It did get me to use this outdoor public body weight strenght training equipment I had only driven by. I got to find out that going to the gym is actually paying off. I would not call this a replacement for actual formal working out. What a augmented reality like this can do is encourage casual every day low cost physical activity. You don't have to go anywehere super special to do it, you don't have to spend anymore than the cost of a decent smart phone to do it. One of the great barriers to physical fitness is having the time and money to take part in anything interesting. That is part of why, in America today obesity and related health issues are worse the less money one has ( How Obesity Relates to Socioeconomic Status ) Healthful and ironically more simple whole foods are somehow more expensive now than foods that have had more done to them ... unless those foods are ones various marketers figure they can sell to unwise hipsters for more money than they are worth. (Aldi is kicking Whole Foods where it counts. )
So all those milennials old enough to have first played Pokemon on the old fashionied Game Boy and those who played it on Game Boy Advanced can get off our cans and do some plain old walking. No mountain bike, climbing gym, gym of any kind really, lessons or, or expensive exercise doodads required.
As I observe things that are odd about this game I will add to this article so stay tuned.
Common sense advice.
- Do not let your children play this game alone, or outside of certain controlled boundaries. Try finding kid and family friendly areas to play in like parks and supervise them while they play.
- Adults playing this as a way to give their long walk/run/bike ride a little more fun should keep their heads up. Just look at the map on the phone and walk in the direction you need to go.
- Young adults playing it might want to consider doing so on a college campus whether or not they are enrolled (though it would be less odd if you were). People who are college age or can pass for it shouldn’t have any problem. The danger of walking into vehicle traffic should be minimal on most quads.
- The reward is not worth taking a chance. If one of the apparently algorithm generated “Pokéstops” or training gyms is in an area which is not safe for you to be JUST LEAVE IT BE. I know that easy reward feeling the game gives is like hitting a crack pipe but it ain't worth it. Not that I know what crack is like except by reputation.
- I noticed sometimes Pokémon were hiding in places that in real life corresponded to green cover like bushes. For example, finding Rattus in a place that in many cities would be a likely hiding place for actual rats. It adds realism and is safer than looking in the middle of a street. Just be careful.
Here are the dangers I found so far in using this app to walk around my home town Bellwood Illinois USA.
Here is where one of the pokestops are. Probably no muggers or pedophiles hanging around here... just fire engines that could come screaming out of the garage at any moment.
Found this one lurking in some bushes where close to dark there could be a real animal hiding.
More probably a skunk hiding around here.
Here is a public Facebook album with all my photos of the dangerous, odd and funny of Pokémon in it.
I have found a perfect example of StarTrek predicting the future in the form of this game. It is just like this.
This is not just my opinion this game is now more popular than pornography. People would rather catch pokémon than fantasize about making babies.