Pokèmon Go landed on our shores a little over a month ago and it seems that our enthusiasm for the game has not abated! I must say I was curious about the game before it launched here as references to it kept popping up on social media, so in order to understand the craze (and for research purposes!), I did what any person would do – I became a Pokèmon trainer!
It’s a game that’s fairly easy to get the hang of; one is a Pokèmon trainer who catches Pokèmons, and once you get higher up the Trainer chain, you can choose a team and proceed to battle in gyms. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Of course that’s the rather simplified version – if you’re a truly serious player, you’d be an expert in ‘PokeTalk’ and be able to throw around terms that the average Joe would not understand.
There has been a lot of talk about how the game can be a negative influence but quite frankly, I’ve seen a lot of the positive.
During my research excursions (ie walks in Desa Park City!), I saw families out together, teenagers explaining the game to their parents, Dads cycling around with their kids patiently waiting while they played the game – family bonding, what’s bad about that?
It’s also a game that appeals to all ages; from the elderly to the young. I spotted a man who looked to be in his 60s walking around the park catching Pokèmons, and I also saw a Mum and her son huddled over her phone while he explained the finer points of the game to her. A game that narrows the generation gap is astounding.
In this age where technology has been blamed for our mostly sedentary lifestyles, it’s refreshing to have something that marries technology with some form of activity. No doubt the game still requires you to be somewhat glued to your devices but at least it forces you to get off the couch and get moving. It also encourages socialising as friends tend to go out together to catch the critters. Parks have never been more popular as hangout spots! And you’re quite likely to strike up conversations with your fellow Pokèmon trainers too, and maybe make a few new friends.
It’s also a game that requires some thought and strategising so it encourages you to do some thinking – it’s not just about throwing those balls and catching Pokèmons!
So yes, it is a game which has a lot going for it but with the good of course comes the not-so-good. You need to play the game responsibly and safely but unfortunately a few bad apples have given other players a bad name. In light of this, here are a few reminders for those of you who play the game:
Pay attention to your surroundings
Don’t be oblivious to what’s going on around you. Make sure you’re fully aware of where you’re walking and don’t put yourself or others in danger. You should also not make a nuisance of yourself – stopping suddenly on a walkway and forcing others to walk around you is just annoying.
Keep your eyes on the road
Talking on your phone while driving is against the law and so is playing games on it while you’re behind the wheel. No matter how good a multitasker you think you are, just don’t – it’s not worth it.
Obey the law
Pulling over by the side of the road to play the game may seem like a safer idea than playing it while driving but it’s not. You’re not only posing a danger to others on the road, but you’d also be causing traffic. Don’t be a jerk. (I witnessed a lot of this!)
Yes, you may be desperate to get to that Pokestop but if it’s on private property, just.walk.away. I’ve also seen people in parks trampling on the grass instead of sticking to the paths as they’re supposed to. Respect the places you are at, signs are there for a reason.
Mind the volume
If you use your lunch hour to play the game, that’s your prerogative. However, if you think the diners at the next table enjoy the sounds from the game blaring on your phone, think again. If you must play it, then lower the volume or mute it altogether. Be considerate.
Play responsibly and safely and enjoy yourselves! As for me, I think my research will continue for a little longer ;)