When I first heard about this new game called “Pokémon Go”, it was in a context of a new natural selection of sorts where people who apparently never leave their houses or who are up all night and sleep all day are now venturing out into the big scary world – devices in front of their faces and are;
- walking off of cliffs
- walking into traffic
- complaining about aches and pains from the exercise
- venturing into restricted areas
- catching Pokemon!
When the hype failed to die down, I sought out more information and I found out was that it was not available in Canada… yet, but I was already intrigued as to what kind of game could be THAT engaging to cause people to harm themselves in order to play.
Well, the game was made available for download here in Canada a few days ago, and now, we’ve caught quite a few of those little Pokemen (if that’s what one is called).
The first Pokemon was actually in our bed (insert comment here), but I’ve come to learn that once you install the app, the first Pokémon appears near where you are when you start the game. That makes me feel better knowing that over-exercised, under-rested kids won’t be trying to get into our bedroom to catch that little (I mean, big) Pokemon that was bouncing on our bed.
So now we have tried the game a couple of times, and it’s fun, I guess. Nothing all that addictive, to be honest, although my youngest kids (the oldest is still away at camp) seem to enjoy it more that I do and I’m not sure if they like it more or less than my wife does…
But any excuse to get out of the house after dinner for a nice walk, to meet and speak to neighbours and friends under the guise of catching Pokémon is A-Okay for me!
Apparently, it’s not okay to capture Pokémon on military bases, in restricted areas and at any offices of PETA.
What I did not know about this thing named Pokémon is that in the original Pokémon narrative, a 10-year-old boy decides he wants to become a master of these creatures called Pokémon and to do that he must catch all of them. To do that, a scientist has given him a “Pikachu” which is a temperamental electric rat.
This boy repeatedly orders Pikachu to fight wild Pokémon, weakening them until they can be captured. Once caught, the captured Pokémon are then re-trained to fight other Pokémon until there are no more wild Pokémon left.
PETA now has a campaign to free captured Pokémon (#GottaFreeEmAll), and they have banned fighting and catching Pokémon at their LA office (although I saw a wink in the notice which might mean they do not actually believe Pokémon Go is the same as cockfighting or dogfighting).
While some people have compared the catching of Pokémon to taking animals out of the wild and putting them in zoos, circuses, and other places that exploit and abuse them, I remind them that Bugs Bunny was REALLY violent and people don’t hate bunny’s as a result!
I have a feeling that somebody will draw a comparison to catching Pokémon with those kids who play violent videogames, get desensitized to the violence then act of in real life. For those people the lines between reality and fantasy have been blurred and if it’s not the drugs at fault, it’s the parents who need to cut the cord on the remote and snap these kids back into reality…
But I digress.
Pokémon has been around for over 20-years, and I can’t say that there has been any indication that Pokémon players have evolved into sadistic animal torturers, or worse, zoo keepers, but if people who play Pokémon really are the lowest of the low on the human food chain, then let them play and this newest version of natural selection will weed on the bottom feeders and our medical system can fix the rest of them!
Let the people play!