If you are a 90s kid whose had any kind of exposure to Saturday morning cartoons, you’re already quite familiar with what Pokémon is all about. Since 1996, the video games, trading cards and cartoon series has become one of the most successful media franchises in the world. Most recently, the release of the Pokémon GO app for iOS and Android has taken America (and the world) by storm and become a real social phenomenon.
Of course in 2016, where everyone has an opinion…there has been some backlash since the release of the game on July 6th.
Aside from people being called out for being “too old,” lets just respect the fact that people are outside enjoying themselves through a specific medium. It really is not much different from playing sports or watching a movie. But there have been incidents in which robbers have targeted Pokémon GO players, by luring them to a Pokéstop in the dead of night. Other instances include users suffering from injuries, or causing traffic accidents because a Pokémon spawned on the side of the road.
To be fair, we can’t blame these occurrences on the game, but the people themselves. Sure, it is unfortunate these things happen, but sometimes we have to take responsibility for our own stupidity.
Instead, let’s look at all the positive things that Pokémon GO has done for our community in light of all the negativity in this world.
- Pokémon GO makes people exercise! – The game is centered on walking, running, or biking around to different areas to catch and hatch different Pokémon. You can’t expect to catch that cute little Pikachu if you’re still sitting on your couch, right? It has now become the most entertaining way to take a walk around the block.
- It’s helping to combat social anxiety – Apparently it’s helping people with social anxiety and depression to lift their spirits, leave their confined spaces and interact with people in situations they would normally have trouble.
- The best social dating app possibly ever created? – If you’ve ever been apprehensive about going up to a stranger you think is attractive because you have no idea what to say…this app takes care of everything for you! The easiest way to get a conversation started: “What have you caught so far?” or “Excuse me, but do you know where the (insert Pokémon name) is around here?”
- Cashing in on the Pokéstop near you/your business – If you’ve been outside lately NOT playing Pokémon GO, I’m sure you’ve noticed the spike in social gatherings at beaches, parks and other densely populated public places. It’s most likely because a Pokéstop with a lure is active, attracting players toward that area. Hustlers and business owners alike can take advantage of this in various ways that can help them profit from the large crowds.
So rather than hate on what people are enjoying, just go on about your life and enjoy what you like to indulge in. While I believe this might just be a fad that will eventually die down, it has the potential to evolve and become more than just a passing phenomenon. The cross-generational engagement has been staggering and has had nothing but positive reactions over social media.
P.S. GO Team Mystic!