Just when you thought the Pokemon craze was over, Pokemon Go arrived and reignited the madness. In its infancy, Pokemon lovers enjoyed the show and movies, as well as collected Pokemon trading cards, figures, toys, video games, and other memorabilia. Today’s Pokemon fan collects Pokemon characters via an app on their smartphone or Android.
The Pokemon Go craze has gone global. Everyone from pre-teens to grandmas walk the streets with their smartphones in hand in the quest to catch rare Pokemon characters, which can turn up in the most random places. I remember a kid telling me in a restaurant one evening he had just caught a “Snorlax” on my table, and I was not sure if I should reach for a flyswatter or a bottle of hand sanitizer.
What harm could it do? It is just fun, right? Well, let’s look at the phenomenon. If your 13-year old were on social media announcing to everyone that they were about to run over to the park on Elm Street, because they were finding Pokemon everywhere, you would be more than a little concerned. Your 13-year old child is telling strangers online that they are alone at the park and what street it is on. A predator could use this information to find your child using the same app.
People are being taken advantage and hurt by criminals using Pokemon Go craze to lure them to secluded places and robbing them. People are being assaulted because they are going to dangerous places and not paying attention to what is around them. Some kids are targeted just for their phones. We live in a time when people are robbed for $20.00, yet here we are walking, oblivious to anyone around us, carrying a device that cost several hundred dollars.
Other situations arise where tempers flare over the game leading to violence against rivals. Shootings, stabbings, beatings, and other crimes are all being linked to this game.
Then there are the parents who left their toddler son alone so that they could play Pokemon Go. The 2-year old was found alone outside, in temperatures nearing 100 degrees in a diaper and t-shirt. He is probably not Pokemon Go’s youngest victim.
By now it will not surprise you to hear that people have been so engrossed in the game that people have gotten themselves into some serious situations over Pokemon Go. These include (but are not limited to) automobile accidents, walking into traffic, trespassing on private property, falling off a cliff, and other accidents.