The Darkside of Pokémon GO

Anything you do in excess will eventually have side effects that are not all good. Pokémon GO is no different. All you have to do is follow the news and current events to see the kinds of dark things that are beginning to take shape.

1. People are playing the game while driving. It has resulted in accident and injury. I can just imagine a scenario where an individual with significant others and a family crash their car into a tree due to not paying attention to the task of driving safely.

The death of that person deprives those close to him financial support and the presence of a and loving relationship. It has already happened and will happen again.

2. A game so absorbing as Pokémon GO also has the potential to spawn a crime spree that’s impossible to anticipate. Smartphones are already a target of criminals with people being robbed in the absence of triggers like Pokémon GO.

Now, we have people walking around outside at all hours of the day and night in a distracted state looking for animated creatures that are augmenting their reality using a smartphone in plain sight. What’s to stop a petty thief from following these people and in a moment of isolation, simply walking up to them and stealing their phone right from their very hand?

Many will think its far fetched to take things that far. It isn’t. It’s happened and will continue to happen. A worst case scenario involves not only the phone being taken but also abuse and injury is possible.

3. The game is so absorbing that people trespass on property where the danger of legal action or even worse, owners defending their property from people they deem as dangerous. The day will come when someone playing Pokémon GO in pursuit of an animated character will be staring down the barrel of a shotgun without even realizing why.

Take that thought to the extreme and envision the day when people are actively being shot at because of being the wrong place at the wrong time. By the way, it isn’t a day that will come, it is a day that’s already here.

4. The medical community hasn’t even broached the subject of the psychological effects that extended play of the game might have on the development of young children. Parenting is difficult enough with kids now being monitored for how much they spend engaging on social media and texting so they can detect and prevent risky behavior.

Pokémon GO

The list will continue to grow as evidenced by the headlines in the news today. I just did a quick survey of my news feed and Pokémon GO hack occupies a prominent place with multiple stories.

Pokémon GO is now the biggest mobile game in U.S. history – over 21 million downloads surpassing Candy Crush.

We all need to exercise restraint and modify our behavior to prevent needless violence. The game must be played in moderation and with respect to property and life.

My last warning shot comes from the story on the nightly news on TV where two players fell off a cliff at the ocean chasing Pokemon. One fell 60 feet and the other 50 feet to the sand and rocks below. Fortunately, they both survived. Maybe that won’t be the case next time.