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Pokemon Go: Benefits and Blunders

by Mr. Deceuster and the students of Bobopolis

A boy ran frantically through a park chasing a Charmander.  The Pokemon scurried away into an occupied porta-potty, which the boy promptly tried to break into.  Guess the Charmander really had to Pokemon Go.  Many have witnessed such public irritations of people who are sucked into this new, popular game.  Pokemon Go has revolutionized gaming, but is it for better or worse?

There are many different opinions about this influential game, but it is clear that there are many benefits.  Gamers may have been apprehensive about the outdoors in the past.  But now, one can see many former hermits coming out of their shells to explore the outdoors by hiking, walking, and even running to catch digital creatures.  It cannot be denied that Pokemon Go has greatly increased the physical activity of users. In addition, people are discovering their community by going to places they had previously never been in hopes of catching a Pokemon.  According to procon.org, many community gems such as restaurants, parks, museums, and other attractions that may have gone unnoticed are now being uncovered.  Finally, the Fox News Online  article Can Pokemon Go really improve your mental health? quotes Dr. Ben Michaelis as saying, “The game could provide motivation to go outside and explore the world through a sort of enhanced reality.   It could also provide people with enough of a distraction from their fears and inner monologue to get them to do something that might be challenging for them.”  Anxiety and depression can be overcome by using the game to work out problems.  There are many ways that Pokemon Go has helped couch potatoes enjoy the outdoors and revolutionized gaming for the better.

It’s important to realize that there are also many downsides to Pokemon Go.  For example, sometimes people decide to disrespect some of the beauties of the community.  Many places such as cemeteries, museums, monuments, and multiple private properties have all been intruded upon by players.  Also, Pokemon Go has resulted in a minor increase of crime and tickets.  According to Japan Times, a woman was distracted while playing and became the victim of a robbery.  A man on a scooter came up to steal from her neglected bicycle basket.  Traffic violations have also skyrocketed in Japan’s catastrophic streets.  Pokemon Go users are being given tickets left and right.  Finally, Pokemon Go can unintentionally lead to inappropriate interactions.  One example is when a man told a young girl that he could show her a rare Pokemon, but realized it could be taken as a crime.  Creepy!  Is it possible that Pokemon Go has made gaming worse than before?

The porta-potty occupant would not be pleased with the boy’s invasion of his privacy, but the boy’s mother might be excited to see her son outside playing.  Benefits of the game include increased physical activity, discovering the community, and overcoming social problems.  Blunders include invasion of privacy, increases in crime, and new types of social problems.  There are different opinions about the game, so one must learn more about it before jumping to conclusions.