DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this blog post are my own that are generated from my own experience and are NOT intended to trash talk the game itself, or anyone who chooses to play it. If you play it and you’ve enjoyed it, made new friends, got more exercise than you normally have, and managed to stay safe through it all; then that’s great, this game is definitely for you. But unfortunately it’s not for me. So I advise you to consider what my opinions really are on this before you assume that I’m talking shit about you or the game.
With the all the rage of the new popular app Pokemon Go spreading, I think it’s time I let this one out.
I first heard about the game sometime last week when my social media feeds exploded with all things Pokemon. I was surprised at first because I didn’t think that it would be mainstream enough to get this much attention; clearly that has changed.
It released in the US, Australia and NZ first and in less than 24 hours there were already stories of incidents regarding the game. I investigated right away once I discovered that this game, unlike most mobile games…it’s augmented reality. It makes it look as if Pokemon are appearing in real life before you through the usage of your phone’s camera. Not only that but you have to go out and about to find Pokemon so it also uses your GPS.
Now, I’m not one who judges quickly and hates on something that is new to a franchise that I like obviously. I try to keep an open mind; but there were things that came up, that made me turn away from this game while it was still not available here. Thanks to the company’s decision to put the release in Canada on hold for a bit, I got to watch with a bowl of popcorn while my American neighbors got the first dose of the game.
It didn’t take long for stories to pop up on the news about what this game did to people: the good, the bad, and the disturbing. So, you can imagine what I saw already turned me away before I could hit the download button.
Since this game appears to be a new fad, I feel I’m going to get hammered with comments about why I am wrong about what I’m going to share here. Just so you know, you can defend the game all you want. I won’t stop you from playing but there are some really big concerns I have for society regarding this, and they need to be addressed; that also includes any of the counter attacks you make on the ten reasons why I will not play this game.
1. I prefer to enjoy nature around me
For years I have maintained the routine of going for a walk almost daily especially during the warmer seasons. By the time I was a teenager, I was struggling with drama constantly, and the best solution for me to avoid it was to go outside.
I would walk the circular route of my neighborhood at first, and then I started going further such as downtown by the lake, around a portion of the river, hell I’d even walk North to the nearest game store! I usually try to avoid taking the bus unless it’s too far or the weather is shitty and I find myself walking with my iPod less and less whenever I go out nowadays.
I used to walk with my iPod a lot because my music is another method to escape reality, but I also love to admire the beauty of nature especially when I walk down by the lake. If I walk with my iPod it’s on shuffle so I don’t have to put my nose in it to pick another song every 4 – 7 minutes.
To the point, when I go out for my daily stroll, my cell phone stays in my pocket except when someone calls me, or I want to take a picture of the beautiful scenario.
One of my friends is a hiker, so he’d definitely agree with me on this one. Get out and enjoy your surroundings instead of burying your nose in your phone! Whenever I get home from my walk, then I go engross myself in a video game or social media.
The common argument that may come up against this is:
“But you don’t have to look at the game all the time. You can keep it in your pocket and it’ll notify you when you’re close to finding a Pokemon.”
Okay, I understand that, I totally do. BUT, here’s the hitch, a lot of us from this generation have a habit of checking our phones a lot, regardless of where we are. You could be walking for half an hour and begin to wonder “Am I close to finding that Squirtle that I want so badly yet?”
So when you begin to wonder that, you’ll be tempted to pull out your phone and check the game to see how close you are to the nearest Poke’stop or whatever; just like social media, you’re desperate if anyone has liked the photo you’ve posted, or your crush has answered your text. You could be walking down the street while you pull out your phone to see if there’s a reply or Pokemon nearby. Doesn’t matter how addicted you are. We appear to be wired to check constantly, whether there’s a notification system or not.
2. I’ve already got things that motivate me to go outside
Yes, ever since I found a way to cope with a drama and escape it when necessary, that’s one way I started getting out of the house to go for a walk about the town; even if it meant walking by myself. Once that was set into place it became a hobby for me and I don’t regret that hobby. I like going outside for a walk because it clears my mind. For my 23rd birthday this year, my mom got me one of those nifty little Fitbit things so now I’ve got more reason to get outside and go for a little stroll.
What saddens me is that I’ve noticed out there; is that so many people claim to have never had the motivation to get off the couch and go outside until this game came out. You seriously think there is nothing else that could get you moving other than Pokemon? Even for people on the autism spectrum like me, I understand what you go through, but if you have a video game addiction, with all due respect, don’t you think it would be a lot healthier for you to not rely on more video games to get you outside?
Pokemon is a hobby of mine; like so many others, but I find that if I were to take it out of the house it would only distract me when I want to spend some quality time with nature and my friends. If you really think that Pokemon is the only solution to get you out of the house so you can exercise, then I think that there are healthier options available to you. If you can’t afford membership at a gym or any workout equipment then just go for a walk, there’s lots of things beyond that front door that should motivate you to step out.
Why? Well, think of it like taking your game console from the basement and putting it in your backyard, even if it’s a game that requires physical movement. You’re not enjoying the great outdoors, you’re just bringing your video game addiction with you. Don’t get me wrong, I like to occasionally take me 3DS with me to Streetpass others, but I prefer to play it indoors on an evening or rainy day.
3. I don’t need to catch em all
Go ahead, call me not a true Pokemon Trainer for saying this….I dare you; but in the end it’s true. All the time I’ve been a fan since 5th grade, I cared more about the story and getting my favourite Pokemon rather than catching every single one of them.
In fact, I don’t want all the Pokemon out there; some of them are either weird, ugly, or just not my type. If you’ve got a good legendary one for me to catch then bring it on.
But other than that, I don’t want every single Pokemon that exists to date. Some of them don’t appeal to me; like I’m not interested in owning a Muk, Swalot, to name a few.
The only thing that players hope to achieve the most in this game; is to catch all of em even if they have to risk their lives to do it. Speaking of which….
4. People are trespassing and having accidents from this game
Seeing as it’s augmented reality; it didn’t take long for stories to start popping up everywhere of people getting into trouble for playing this game. We get so engrossed in our phones and even the game itself warns players to be alert at all times. Nobody seems to follow that though. Last week there were already reports of players tripping and falling; that resulted in bruises or twisted ankles. Then it turned into getting hit by cars; whether you stop in the middle of the highway while driving and playing, or cross the intersection without looking cause you’re trying to catch a rare one.
It keeps getting worse, in fact, I stumbled into even more tragedies regarding the game that happened just a few hours ago! Somebody hit a cop car while driving and playing; I sense a ticket coming their way. People are taking this game WAY too serious in my opinion; in fact it’s obviously serious enough that people are risking their lives and willing to face criminal record. It’s crazy how far people will go to catch em all. That is why I prefer to play these games on my Nintendo DS in the comfort of my home.
|The accidents are just gonna keep getting worse. I hope they don’t involve too much blood. No one’s gonna learn to pay attention until people start dying in accidents from this game. Sounds harsh but it’s the truth.
The trespassing stuff also bothers me too. I wouldn’t be too pleased if people were loitering outside my house, or asked for access to my backyard because there was a Charizard in it. This is also a huge problem in the US because some people are very protective over their property and shoot anyone who trespasses.
So far there haven’t been any car accidents related to the game in my area yet, but I wouldn’t bet on it just yet. The game’s only been out for half of the week here and sometimes I wonder if those blazing sirens I heard yesterday evening from the freeway while out for a walk, had something to do with it. No guarantee it was an accident related to the game, but I bet you dollars to donuts it’s a possibility.
The unfortunate truth is that we mostly hear on the news about the more irresponsible players of this game since its release. Now I don’t believe that there are no players out there that do play the game more cautiously while out and about, nor am I sharing this as one of the ten reasons because I’m gullible to what I hear on the news. If I want to play a game that I’m passionate about, I would prefer to do it in a safer place where there is no risk of danger.
Safety is my number one priority whenever I leave the house; hazards, traffic and even thieves out there. No matter how popular a mobile game gets; if I feel like it could put my safety at risk by possibly being less alert (I say that from the fact that I have had difficulty all my life paying attention to my surroundings in some situations, and this game could probably make it worse) Then I don’t play it.
5. It’s becoming a new weapon for thieves and rapists
My parents often warned me not to pull out my cell phone all the time while waiting at the bus stop, especially early in the morning. Thieves and pedophiles always have come up with scary ways to lure in their victims and this game might just become a new weapon for that.
Picture this, a guy’s looking to steal a teenage player’s phone, so he sets him/her up for a trap saying that there’s a rare Pokemon nearby. If they’re stupid enough out of the desire to catch them all, they will fall for it, and the predator will pounce. Simple as that.
Need I say more? Well there haven’t been many stories on the news, but it won’t be long before it starts happening.
6. It drains your battery to hell (and back)
Nothing is more frustrating than a battery that has its life lasting even lesser than it normally would. When I went through the phases of playing SWGOH and Dragon City; I found that my phone lasted less the amount of time than it would normally.
|it’ll come a lot faster than you think
Imagine with the usage of your GPS, and your data; the battery lasts even less the amount from what I have experienced from my previous addictions.
I will never trust apps that require mandatory access to my location in order to function, unless it’s from a reputable company like Google when it comes to their maps. Anyone could be tracking me through that and I’m not comfortable with it.
My dad still criticizes me why I’m on my phone so much. He says that I could be tweeting away and then the battery is low around the time that I need it for an urgent matter. One time I went for a walk and it started raining. I had my phone charging at home and my parents were worried sick about me. I didn’t walk very far but hey!
So once again the argument will come into play about how you don’t have to look at the game all the time, still it’s drinking a lot of battery juice while you walk as long as your GPS is turned on. You don’t have to pull it out and look at it for that to happen. It just happens.
Plus once a Pokemon comes into view; the app also uses your phone’s camera to make it appear like it’s in the real world, so that’ll drain it even more! Point taken.
7. It’ll raise your mobile data bill
Since this is an app that requires Internet connection while you’re out, you have no choice but to use your phone data to make this app work on the go.
I try to avoid using data as much as I can. The last time I used a high amount of it was at my family’s cottage and there was no Internet up there.
Every time you look at a picture or watch a video through data, your phone is downloading all this shit and if you have a data limit, it’ll warn you how close you are to reaching it.
My brother and I are under a shared data plan, and when I told my mom all the rage with this game and the concerns I had for society; she believed that if one or both of us played the game: the data bill would skyrocket fast.
The game’s only been out for about two weeks, so let’s wait and see what happens next month when the bill arrives for everyone. I can just imagine it being ridiculously high and some people don’t even have a plan but still have to pay a large amount when the bill comes in!
8. In person interaction should not be engrossed in your cell phone
This is a problem with this generation. When people get together for just coffee or dinner; they’ll spend oodles of time on their cell phones tweeting, instagram, etc. I’ve seen it, especially with those younger than me.
I went to a sleepover two years ago. It was fun at first; we played Laser Tag, had spaghetti for dinner but after 9pm, the girls all got absorbed in whatever social media accounts they had. I was just sitting there bored and no one wanted to talk. So I too got engrossed in my phone. I went to bed early at that party and left right after breakfast the next day!
Nowadays when I hang out with my friends, I keep my phone in my purse unless I get a call or text from my parents or some other urgent matter. My online friends can cope without me for a few hours when I’m out.
“The game helps you socialize and meet new people.”
No argument there, but does it really help you make new friends that much? In Sydney, Australia there was some big Pokemon event at the opera house. But most of the time from what I know, people were just walking around noses in their phones catching Pokemon instead of talking and engaging with others except with things like “Hey did you catch anything yet?” “How many gyms have you cleared?” “Do you know where the next Poke’stop is?”
|Be glad you’re not around to see it.
I have always had trouble socializing and making new friends growing up and sadly it’s something that will be challenging for me for the rest of my life. But I haven’t let that stop me from trying to talk to people.
Yes I’ve made many new friends in the subcultures of heavy metal and nerdy stuff but if I’m hanging out with someone in person, I’d rather talk to those who are facing me not through a screen. Whatever tweet I need to send or game I want to play on my phone can wait when I’m out with my friends. Plus, believe it or not, some people may not be comfortable with the interactions they get from someone in person they meet through a game.
Now, like I said, if you’ve managed to use this game as a way to hang out with your friends, chit-chat about whatever without becoming too absorbed, and go trekking somewhere without trespassing and whatnot, then that’s good to hear. As some have told me, it’s not the game it’s the player.
9. I’ve been through enough mobile game addictions already
Long before mobile games were all the rage, I was addicted to several games on Facebook that would later go on to become mobile only: Farmville, Cityville, Castleville, Reign of Vampires, World of War, Happy Aquarium, It Girl, The Sims Social, Dragon City….and I think that’s it. Not all of these soldiered on to be mobile access but what most of them have in common is they are simulation with micro-transactions and require the input of real money to get the better items if you want to continue forward faster.
It doesn’t matter if Pokemon Go gets you up and moving again, I’ve been through far too many mobile addictions when it comes to games. I’m a gamer, always will be, but I’d rather not go through another phase where I am engrossed in a mobile device and possibly spending my money on digital stuff to get ahead.
10. It makes the franchise mainstream
I know what you’re thinking, as a Pokefan I should be happy that something I love is finally getting more attention from the public, but no that’s not the case.
The problem that I have with this, is the fact that once something becomes mainstream; society tends to only focus on that part of the franchise. Pokemon is more than just the mobile game; you can’t forget about the anime, the cards and the games by Nintendo. So one thing that I have noticed, is that when the game starts to irritate people because it’s everywhere, they tend to not always see what else Pokemon is, other than the mobile game.
It makes me feel like they are hating on the entire franchise. If you dislike the mobile game like I do, that’s perfectly fine, but hating on the whole franchise is another.
As much as I love it when something I’m passionate about gets more attention; it really starts to get on my nerves when it becomes insanely popular. I remember many times I always asked myself: “Why doesn’t my brother listen to Sabaton? He likes a little bit of heavy metal, he’s a history major, and Sabaton’s songs are about war and history.”
As much as that would be great that he could listen to them, the reason why I took that back was because, if he listened to them, and then everyone else did; then it would no longer be a unique thing that I enjoy, it would be everyone’s thing (plus it would be even harder to go to their concerts whenever they come back here!)
Same thing with Pokemon. Sometimes it feels good to stand out when you do something different and that’s what I was born to do. There are good and bad things about this outcome: The good thing is that you no longer feel alone. The bad thing is that you no longer feel unique that you like to enjoy Pokemon now that everyone else is doing it, and some of those people may only be playing it because it’s a trend rather than because they grew up loving it.
See what I mean? It’s not rocket science.
Since this game is just something that’s trending at the moment; and trends don’t last forever. I truly hope that one of these days when it dies down, then it filters out those who were just playing it for the trend, and those who are genuine fans of Pokemon as a whole.
So there you have it, ten reasons why Pokemon Go is not a game for me. Like I said, these ten things are based on personal experience, and morals that I follow when it comes to safety.
Again, I am not attacking the game itself or the people who choose to play it. In fact a lot of my friends actually do play it and I’m definitely not putting this out there to get them to stop playing it. If you enjoy it, great, have fun.
I just can’t get in to it due to things I have gone through in the past, the morals I have inherited, and the issues I go through that might not improve if I were to pick up this game.
I hope anyone who reads this understands that before they start rapidly typing in the comments bar about what an asshole they think I am, how wrong I am about this, etc.