Posted by Jenna Myones on July 19, 2016
The launch of the new Pokémon Go app has sent the entire country in Poké-mania. The revolutionary free mobile app game allows its users to interact and virtually capture Pokémon characters in different locations, which is a huge leap from the Game Boy game created in 1995. This newer version actually uses real time GPS tracking on the smartphone and while open, sends alerts to players when Pokémon are nearby. It seems like the entire world is ready to catch, battle, and train.
While the game promotes a unique and highly sophisticated level of interaction with your surroundings and the people in your community, there are some serious issues that come up each day. These huge advances in the mobile phone gaming platform has lead to an extra degree of danger in an otherwise harmless past time. There has been some serious hesitation and concerns over the accessibility Ninatic is allowed to when players use the app, i.e., tapping into your GPS location, using the camera, and accessing additional information on your phone such as your G-mail Accounts.If you want even more info, USA Today published an article on July 13, 2016 outlining these concerns and more. Additionally, with eyes constantly glued to the phone's screen in search of tiny pocket monsters, people seem more susceptible to dangers than ever before. There have been more and more reports of people getting into accidents, receiving various injuries, falling off sudden drops in the terrain, and even getting robbed. Smartphone technology has consistently put a strain on our safety in regards to remaining alert and aware of your surroundings, but now that Pokémon Go is encouraging users to get out and explore, players need to pay more attention.
Still, while there are a few safety concerns, it is immensely beneficial for socially aware and responsible players too. Pokémon Go is actually getting people to get up, walk around, and interact. While more caution is needed, there has been a noticeable rise in community engagement. More crimes are being reported while they are in progress, and businesses and National Parks are showing increases in attendance. In fact, recently a couple in Detroit helped stop a house fire when they saw flames in a window while out on a walk looking for Pokémon! Studies are even being conducted to see if there is a link between the game and increased mental health. The game encourages these community outings to gain achievements, such as hatching an egg, visiting Pokéstops (usually at a local landmark) to collect additional pokéballs, and meeting new people. The rise in popularity has even gone viral with videos posted to YouTube showing swarms of people flocking to spots where a Pokémon has been reported.
Whether you are an avid fan or completely out of the loop, you can debate the pros and cons all day, but one thing is for sure, this game is becoming a cultural catalyst of things to come. It has yet to be seen if Pokémon Go can maintain its appeal for the long run, but you can bet that the success of this app will spawn multiple variations in the months and years to come.