So, unless you’ve been existing without the internet (which is a thing I’ve heard), then you’ve heard about Pokemon Go. It has been the subject of great media discussion lately and I myself have become entrenched in the game.
The idea behind this game, for those who don’t know, is to open the app that you download on your phone and go out into the world and find Pokemon “in the wild”. Instead of playing a video game, sitting on a couch, you grab a friend and hit the pavement or park to find all sort of Pokemon hiding outside. It’s fun, social and has even been touted with helping certain children with developmental disabilities add a new social component to their lives.
With that said, enter the haters. There has been plenty of negative press to go along with the introduction of this new game. People are playing the game WHILE DRIVING, walking off cliffs and there have been players who have found dead bodies while playing. Many comments in those articles call players and the game “retards and retarded” and “idiots” and “I have a life so I would never play this stupid thing” etc.
Some of the people posting these derogatory statements are the same people who post non-stop about their sports team, updating with every home run, touchdown or goal. They also post about their children, their jobs, their crafts, their etc. I do not call my friends names for watching sports. I don’t watch TV or sports, but I don’t make fun of them. I don’t ask people while they are wasting their time sewing or crocheting or whatever their passion might be. Mostly I don’t because it’s NOT NICE, but I was raised that people are different and they have different likes and dislikes and that’s OK. I have friends posting memes and statements JUDGING those who play (well they are now “unfollowed friends” lol).
For the first time in forever, if ever, my two children (both with Autism, 19 (son) and 12 (daughter)) went outside for a walk the other morning to try and catch some Pokemon. It was heartwarming! They were only gone for about 15 minutes and they are both fine on their own within the local neighborhood. They know to not cross a street or intersection without paying full attention and so forth. They had a ball and came back laughing.
So, for those who are pointing to all the news stories that are in the negative, I feel the same way about texting and driving as well as holding your phone and driving. (Probably why they are illegal in the first place) If you use common sense and stay aware of your surroundings, Pokemon Go is a great, fun way to interact with friends and have some fun. It’s silly and fun to find little creatures sitting on the sidewalk in front of you and try to get them into a Pokeball.
Perhaps people criticize it because they can’t stand seeing anyone else having fun, are generally miserable people who like to make negative comments about anything they don’t understand or they just don’t like gaming in general (perhaps it’s all of the aforementioned!).
I’ve been gaming forever and it’s fun! I like all different kinds of games and Pokemon Go has been a great addition to them. I find it amusing to connect with my kids this way and while I don’t play as much as others, it’s a great distraction for a few moments a day. It makes me sad that so many people are using poor judgement when playing, but then again, I see people holding their phones and texting while driving full speed every day.
So, the next time you hear a negative story out there about Pokemon Go, just remember that not everyone is out there walking off of cliffs, robbing others, getting into car accidents etc. Many of us are having fun, laughing, making new friends and enjoying the revival of a much loved game. Open your mind and your hearts and be nice to one another. It really isn’t that difficult. Game on!