Apple claims that Pokémon Go is the most downloaded app in the first week after its launch. Yet are any of us really that surprised? Of course. I mean, despite the fact that there are constantly new things going viral, nobody thought some guy wondering what the fox says in a song or some other dude filming his friend, Daniel, in white vans was going to become such a phenomenon. In the end, we look over Gangnam Style and wonder what it had to reach almost 3 billion views on YouTube. Nevertheless, we love it.
Pokémon GO, developed by Niantic, Inc., uses your GPS location to map out a virtual world in parallel to the real one. The point of the game is to find and catch as many creatures (called Pokémon), receiving points. The points can be used for in-app purchases and moving up levels within the game. Different Pokémon are worth different amounts of points, and, logically, the rarest creatures will be of the most points, hence why you may run into a desperate crowd of people sprinting towards the same location.
What makes this game worth playing is its similarity to a video game. Video game fanatics are known for not being the most sociable people, and often they avoid the outdoors to lay around in front of a computer/TV screen. Pokémon Go has managed to push all of these video game players out from the indoors. Even more, they have loads of walking to do to properly claim the feature of a Pokémon as their own. Thus, this app is a good workout.
The only problem is that Pokémon Go doesn’t actually make you that much more sociable. What makes video game players what to revert back to the actual world is, perhaps, seeing that there is far more important things happening out the bedroom window.
However, there is a worrying part from playing this game: not paying attention the surroundings. Surely you have seen accidents as a cause of some child crossing the road without paying attention to the cars, all of this because in that instant they were playing Po Go. Yet to what extent is reasonable to blame an app for a child’s ignorance to one’s surroundings?
In my opinion, Pokémon Go is a great app that keeps you moving, and not only for exercise, but as a way to avoid staying indoors. In other words, it gets rid of lazy characteristics. Don’t get me wrong, as I personally do not play it, but if parents think their children are not conscious of their own safety, they should probably not allow it for them. After all, have we not learned to look on both sides before crossing the street?