Have you heard of the latest craze Pokemon Go? I’m sure you have. Man it’s taking this world by storm! I’ve not downloaded it yet and I doubt I will but I just want to extol its virtues and also look at some disadvantages associated with it. The first time I heard of this virtual game was a few weeks ago whilst I was doing some paperwork and listening to the news on television (it was just on for background noise). The gist of what I heard was that there was this new game app which was all the rave called Pokemon Go. I looked up briefly to just glance at the television and the image I saw was that of about 11 – 15 people walking in a zombie-like state along a sidewalk with an extremely busy road running parallel. All heads were down, gazes fixed to the phone! I thought ‘how crazy, I need to check this out!’. So I did and now let’s look at the pros and cons. You decide.
Pokemon Go pros
Pro # 1
It facilitates being in the great outdoors. For some people who prefer the great indoors but whose health could be improved by the great outdoors, I recommend this new craze. I think of those who suffer from Vitamin D deficiency in particular and also those who just need to be outdoors more. There are those as well who might be disabled and dependent on others to take them out. So for the disabled as well as for their carers, I can see Pokemon Go being a good adventure time activity. Many young people as well spend far too much time locked away in their room with various forms of technology to which they seem quite attached. With Pokemon Go, they do get to spend time using their mobile phones and also get the benefits from being in the sunshine and fresh air.
Pro # 2
The benefit of exercise whilst having fun – Far too many people miss out on even simple exercise such as walking. Walking in itself has many benefits including helping toward weight loss and a healthier being. Pokemon Go, therefore, is a great incentive to getting some exercise in by walking.
Pro # 3
The benefit of good mental health and spatial awareness and alertness – Well I must admit, I think this level of mental awareness brought on doing Pokemon Go can also be a negative. But let’s examine the positive effect first. I can visualise people walking about trying to do their pokemon hunt whilst going about their other daily activities. I can see this being quite engaging and encouraging individuals to be alert as they try to manage their everyday things as well as focusing on the game. This is one of the first warnings you get when you download the app.
Pro # 4
Encourages more social interaction – For whatever reason, many individuals spend a vast amount of time indoors, and whilst I understand that nothing will change this for some people, I can see some being encouraged to go out chasing pokemon and actually interacting with others to share exciting finds. This is good for your social and mental health. Who knows what great friendships you can make this way.
Pro # 5
Improved knowledge of landmarks –Since the game uses Google maps, there is from time to time the use of certain landmarks as so-called pokestops This serves as a public education tool in helping pokemon searchers to learn about landmarks in their travels. Children will learn or strengthen their knowledge of using maps too but in a more fun and interactive way.
Con # 1
‘Pokemon! Go!’ – That’s what some people seem to hear, a loud, urgent voice willing them to go in search of them. So some people go with reckless abandon, not paying particular attention to where they are in relation to traffic for example or even to where others are in relation to them. This is a bit risky as one can get seriously hurt if they are this careless. The zombie-like trance that pokemon searchers get into can be seen as a real negative as some searchers seem to have little or no spatial awareness. The usual precautions that people take under normal circumstances are sometimes thrown out the window when it is time to go searching for pokemon. Some people neglect to wear sun cream whilst spending many hours out in the sun. Others spend an inordinately long time out in the sun without stocking up on fluids to replace that lost being out in the sun.
Con # 2
Lack of concern for personal safety. People who wish to do harm to others sometimes use the cover of darkness to carry out their evil deeds. Pokemon searchers, therefore, should take care of where they go and should also take care to venture out when there is enough natural light as well as knowledge of areas to be visited. Knowing enough about an area can help one to be on guard whilst in that area.
My sister has heard that there are now fake pokemon go games in the Apple store! This means that unsuspecting persons not wanting to miss out, can find themselves downloading the wrong thing and finding themselves with a phone that does not work well! Not only that, there might not be any ‘fix’ for the problems caused! So, do be wary of this and check to see if you are downloading from the right developer.
So there you go. The pros and cons of pokemon go as I see it. At this point, the pros outweigh the cons and I am hoping that it will continue that way. Let me know what you think. Drop us a line on joleisa.com