As I’m sure all of you know, Pokemon Go has taken the internet by storm since it was released early in July. Personally, I have never seen any type of game or app take the world by storm like Pokemon Go has.
Truthfully, I do understand why everyone is raging over the game. People my age (17-26) will remember back to their elementary school days of playing the card game. They would play Pokemon for hours, ignoring teachers and other authority figures, often getting in trouble. For hours they would trade cards and play this goofy kid game and thoroughly enjoy it. Pokemon was life. Fast forward to today, the old card game has mostly died out due to kids living in a totally different world. Why play a boring old card game when you can play Angry Birds on your iPad for hours? Heck, you could even play Call of Duty on your Xbox! Card games are out!
I must admit, I never played Pokemon back in those days. I honestly never “got into” it and never learned to enjoy the game. Call me boring if you want to, I just didn’t see (and still do not) the fun in it. So when Pokemon Go came out last month, I found myself instantly annoyed by it all.
Soon, my whole Facebook feed was taken over by Pokemon this and Pokemon that. I couldn’t scroll past two posts without something related to Pokemon showing up. It all became extremely annoying for me and I ended up taking a break from many forms of social media. After about a week or so, I began to have a change of heart. I made the decision to download Pokemon Go. Upon downloading the app, it asked me to log in with my Google account and set up a player. The problem is, I ended up setting my account up at least four times because the game would log me out every time I exited the app. On top of the account issue, the servers also had severe performance issues and I couldn’t load into the game half of the time. Already, my Pokemon Go experience wasn’t quite up to par with others.
Being the tech geek I am, I decided to give Niantic the benefit of the doubt. Pokemon Go was a huge release and gained a huge following all at once. I’m sure they didn’t anticipate such large demand. With this being said, I am still very disappointed with the game and the developers. There are still severe performance issues with the app almost a month later and they are only just now releasing an update. To me, it appears that the developers of the game are doing a very poor job. Despite these performance issues, users continue to play Pokemon Go. Why they do this is beyond me, but I must admit that I do not understand it.
I am still enraged with the whole Pokemon franchise because of Pokemon Go. However, I have a deeper underlying problem with it. Pokemon Go is slowly making it more difficult to hunt for geocaches. If you aren’t aware of what a geocache is, let me break it down for you. At the simplest form, geocaching is “the recreational activity of hunting for and finding a hidden objects by means of GPS coordinates posted on a website” (watchfit.com). The type of geocaching I enjoy involves using an app (much like Pokemon Go) and navigating to a set of coordinates to find a cache. Caches can be different sizes such as micro caches or traditional ammo boxes.
The problem I am facing is ignorant Pokemon Go players. I have encountered them walking around like mindless zombies, absolutely glued to their phones catching virtual figments of their imaginations. Some of these people do not pay attention to where they are going, they do not care about property boundaries, and they have recently been vandalizing personal property. There has been so much uproar over Pokemon Go players that some churches have requested to be removed from the game, and more and more cemeteries have also posted signs banning users from using all GPS-enabled games on their property. The churches and cemeteries are not alone, either. Old Wellington Mall in Palm Beach, Florida has banned Pokemon Go because “the mall has had several problems with young Pokemon Go players […] riding bicycles and skateboards inside, throwing food and walking without paying attention, [and] bumping into other customers” (mypalmbeachpost.com).
I guess I am angry at Pokemon Go players, not the game. While it has its technical issues, the problem I have with the whole Pokemon franchise is the players. For all of you Pokemon Go players out there; learn some respect, follow the law, and stop being stupid! A little bit of common sense can go a long way. Finally, enjoy playing the game safely. There is no reason to be ignorant. Stop acting like punks and start acting like a respectable human being. When you break the law by playing Pokemon Go, you’re making it worse for those who actually follow the rules. Pokemon Go and geocachers can get along and these two activities can live together in harmony; it just takes some cooperation.