Pokemon GO! NO GO!
Not In My House You’re Not!
Ah, the infamous Pokemon GO!
A game created by John Hanke, CEO of Niantic Labs (game and software Development Company).
I am going to get straight to it… Pokemon GO is an absolute NO GO in our home. I know, probably not the most wildly popular consensus on the web, and makes me pretty darn unpopular myself. That being said, you may change your attitude toward the game yourself after you read this.
But first, Let’s start with a little background on the creator and Pokemon itself.
John Hanke grew up in Texas, received his bachelor’s from The University of Texas at Austin. He then went on to attending the HAAS School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley, graduating with an MBA.
He is most notably known (prior to Pokemon Go, of course) for helping create Google Earth. There are also other games he has made in his time, but the one we are going to focus on is the insanely epidemic Pokemon GO! Which, ah-ha, coincidentally uses google earth.
And Pokemon Go was born
What began as an April Fool’s joke by Google a few years back involving, Google announcing a fictional product which included catching Pokemon using google maps, later, turned into the real deal!
History of Pokemon
As far as I can remember, it was one of the first introductions to Japanese style anime when it hit the USA. Pokemon was beloved rather fast by children all over the country, it was something very different than we were used to and who couldn’t fall in love with that Pikachu, he was adorable, you could literally picture yourself having him as a friend or pet. What swept the nation as a wild phenomenon back then wasn’t what is currently available to our children today.
I believe Pokemon had its first debut back in the 1980’s via a gaming magazine. It wasn’t until Feb. of 1996 that Pokemon made its debut on the word famous Nintendo, and in Oct. 1996 the first trading cards were born, though, not available in the USA until three years later. In April of 1997, the Anime TV series was brought to the United States and was quickly a nation favorite amongst children. Pokemon even released a movie in 1999 and somewhere between 2011 and 2013; the Nintendo game was created in DS form.
Did you know, Pokemon’s original Japanese name was Pocket Monsters? The name you have come to know over the past 17 years or more is just a combination of the two words.
The object of the game and show has never really changed. It has always been to “catch em’ all.” What has changed is the new delivery of this game and how it is being played.
I was saddened to hear that such a beloved Anime that has resonated with so many was being made into a game that takes away from our children’s active imagination and engrossing in the outdoors.
While, Admittedly, I will say when I first heard of the game, I thought to myself, “How clever, finally, a way to get them outside and active more.”
Unfortunately, it is quite the opposing scenario. Kids are now, more than ever, glued to their electronics, and their new reality of outdoor play is walking the streets, woods, or worse with their eyes glued to a screen.
This sort of unawareness of surroundings bothers me for a couple of reasons
- They can easily get struck by a car or end up in various dangerous situations due to lack of paying attention.
- They are not experiencing the world! The outdoors is merely a blurred peripheral backsplash to their gaming screen.
Some will argue Pokemon Go
Has a social impact for the good in our children, connecting and socializing through the game with millions of people.
In some aspect, especially considering the socially awkward child, I almost bit that bullet went to grab that steaming pile of crap right off their silver platter. Until, I thought; Kids are now, more than ever growing up socially awkward. If you didn’t tweet it, poke it, gram it or stumble upon it, it was never said or done.
“Virtual Reality has gone from a new downtime entertainment to a worldwide epidemic; turning it into our children’s actual reality.”
They are growing with no true grasp on reality. It both sickens me and disheartens me as a Mother, hell, as a basic human being.
What ever happened to quality, inspiring, and nurturing family time? What happened to going outside, climbing trees, building forts, and scraping knees. There was a time where playing a game meant you were gathering with a group of neighborhood kids and siblings spending hours creating rules and strategies and playing them outside from dusk till’ dawn!
No, I am truly worried as I see what is unfolding before my very eyes as this future generation grows up with virtual reality and reclusiveness as the new norm.
What started out years back as an innocent game and tv series with trading cards and cute characters has overwhelmingly and devastatingly taken a turn for the worst.
Not only is this game taking a toll on our children’s grip on reality and social skills, but it also has these immense and very real dangers to them.
“Pokemon Go! While I’m sure was not the creator’s intention, is putting our children at risk!”
Think about it;
This game is every creeper’s and psychopath’s wet dream.
They can easily lure you anywhere (with the prize of catching the ultimate Pokemon, kids will go without hesitation. It’s the new “don’t take candy from strangers.”
Only now we say, “Don’t go catching Pokemon’s from strangers.”
Before you call me a raving lunatic, hear me out…
- It has been banned in other countries
- It’s already proven to encourage trespassing and wandering into unfamiliar areas
- There have been numerous reports of criminals luring their victims to them
- People have been fatally shot chasing Pokemon
- Other’s led to mine fields
- Led to dangerous neighborhoods
- The game itself shares your location
Just type in Google “Countries that have banned” and it will autofill Pokemon Go, that should tell you something. This game leads players and, let us not forget, these “players” are our children, on a real-life scavenger hunt. Taking them to many unknowns. I want you to think about this for a minute, as to how obsessive kids get with games. How their entire emotional state is reliant on their progress or success in their games. They will not stop and think through their actions, because they are on a mission to catch that Pokemon and will go wherever the game leads them.
There are also many studies out there proving that this increase in electronic use in children is not healthy and leads to many things, one being social awkwardness.
Sorry, not sorry,
I will be that unpopular vote, I do not, and will not allow Pokemon Go in our home. I do however allow the trading cards and show, old school game, and so on. Though, I stand firm on my NO GO stance.
Still not convinced? Let me end with this…
The creator himself knows the game is dangerous and promotes illegal activity. A warning from the game maker Niantic itself pops up each and EVERY time the app is opened telling players to be aware of their surroundings. Players must also agree that they will not enter private property without permission. Now if that is enough, there is ALSO, a Disclaimer that states Niantic is not liable for any property damage, injuries, or deaths that result while playing Pokemon GO!
What are your feelings toward Pokemon GO in relation to children using it? Comment Below.