Pokémon Go. Is it a Blessing, Curse, Both or Neither?

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Hello Dear Readers

That most certainly is the question and I think I hold some form of answer.

To start out I was more or less “born, bred and raised” on Pokémon to some level. I can vividly recall the 1st ever episode air on TV all those years ago. I had 2 of the GameBoy games, one of either Pokémon red or blue (still cannot remember) and Pokémon Yellow. Not too long after the cards were an absolute sensation in the school playground.I can remember even making up a false move for Starmie that didn’t officially exist, most of the other kids believed it as well.

Fast forward as many as 18 years and I’m a Pokémon Go player. I’ve gotten as far as level 20 and I caught my first Pikachu at level 19. The game is a fantastic new addition to the franchise in general and while I sing its praises in some areas I also would advise some level of caution in others.

Pros

1) The fact that Pokéstops and Gyms are usually found at places of interest, landmarks and public art can help players find new locations in areas which they might not have paid attention to. It has an added bonus of helping someone re-admire thier own area (as its not uncommon to not appreciate your own area due to seeing it often). I have also heard that the game has also served to “liven up” people’s otherwise boring commutes.

Its believed that one of the driving forces behind the game was to “get people out and see the world around them”

2) It has given people who “struggle socially” or “have social difficulties” a fair chance in the social world. There are also plenty of reports emerging that claim the get up and go and social elements of the game are doing wonders for people with depression. In my book this knowledge has bought society one step forward.

3) It gives people who don’t see themselves as “homebodies” or “indoorsy types” yet another reason to go out. If your stuck for ideas to do or done most of whats going on in your area that month then just break out your phone and play Pokémon go, what a result!

It’s an “instant ready-made idea” for something to do.

4) It can bring communities together and reunite old friends who have been doing something else. I’ve met at least 2 old friends by playing the game.The amount of people you meet (even for short periods of time) is second to none.

5) The level of walking needed to play the game to good level is getting praise. The game is for the most part designed in a way that will not only get you (and friends) out the house but will also get you walking. You need to walk to come across differing Pokémon and to hatch eggs. Also to re-stock on supplies you need to walk to access Pokéstops. It’s reported that Julia Belluz of Vox has cited Pokémon go as (possibly) the “greatest unintentional health fad ever”

Cons (or things to be aware of)

1) Due to the outdoor nature of the game there is potential to go to a dodgy place at night in order to stock up on supplies or catch that ultra rare Dragonair everyone will be talking about in the morning. Should you wish to go to unlit or otherwise dodgy areas it’s at least advisable to go in pairs or preferably a group to assure your safety. Occurances of robberies have happened in such locations.

2) The app does effectively ask that you give it permission to see all the data on your entire Google account (assuming that’s how you entered). This “in theory” means game developer Niantic can read your emails or browse other personally sensitive data. While I do highly doubt they would it’s still a cause for concern for some.

I’m aware the developers are supposed to be changing the “permissions” for your account so they only need to access the data required to play the game, which should be the minimal amount required to process startup and game play.

3) I’ve heard that some children in my area have knocked on strangers doors asking to enter their house due to a semi-rare or rare Pokémon being inside. I’d advise against this as the safety of your children cannot be assured.

4) Last but not least please don’t play while driving and keep an eye as to your surroundings. In the U.K and U.S.A avoidable accidents have happened while playing.

So to conclude this article, I personally believe this game can be played safely.

My answer to the question that is the title of the article is neither.

I’m a keen player and look forward to future upgrades and fixes

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable

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2 thoughts on “Pokémon Go. Is it a Blessing, Curse, Both or Neither?

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