Pokémon GO: Earth Besieged by Super Addictive App!

Pokemon GO
Oh… my… gawwwdd!!!

If you’ve been within about 0ft of anything over the last few weeks, you’ll have a vague idea about what Pokémon GO is. Most of you reading this will also know what Pokémon is – it’s that Nintendo game which, for 20 years, has been raking in masses of cash.

The games are actually terrific and in Japan are a way of life – it appeals so perfectly to the nation’s kawaii (cute factor) culture the country had no chance of fending off the onslaught of the super addictive game and its appallingly cute characters. Cat type things such as Pikachu have been a huge hit and are so cute it’s nauseating – so is the app. So here we go! We’re getting our didactic hats on.

Pokémon GO

Okay, so just what the bloody hell is going on? The above video should clear things up a bit, but it doesn’t clear up why this app has seemingly taken over everyone’s lives. Let’s state, before we explain the app, Pokémon has been around for 20 years now. It hit the Game Boy in ’96 and become a cultural phenomenon.

Literally, the game’s borderline worshipped. So, considering Pokémon GO launched today over there, you can imagine this thing’s about to reach an insane new level.

Anyway, what you do is download the app and then go wandering around your local vicinity. Reach landmarks and you receive Pokémon balls to catch the Pokémon you bump into arbitrarily. The game’s taken off, simply put, because of the Pokémon name – being able to go out and catch Pokémon is what fans have always dreamt of. Now they, sort of, can.

The nature of the game, however, has led to hundreds of bizarre incidents – some people have even got themselves killed playing it. Let’s journey, then, into the world’s most dangerous video game!

Bizarre Incidents

Due to the nature of the game, it’s created increasingly weird incidents. You have to hold the camera out in front of you and wander around – the on-screen map tells you where stuff is. This makes one look like a brainless zombie and has led to incidents of people mindlessly walking onto roads into oncoming traffic.

As such, Niantic (who developed the app for Nintendo) has stuck a legal waiver on the loading screen reminding people to be careful. Reeling off the incidents we’ve read off the top of our brains, here are just a handful of the bizarre incidents Pokémon GO has created:

  • In America, people have been jumping from moving buses to get at Pokémon in the street – Washington and Oregon states issued public safety warnings as a result
  • Two men in America walked off a cliff in pursuit of Pokémon
  • A woman stumbled across a corpse in her pursuit of cute and cuddly Pokémon
  • Three students in Manchester were held at knife-point whilst playing
  • A hospital in Stoke issued a warning to players banning them from entering intensive care units whilst hunting for Pokémon
  • Bosnia issued warnings to players to steer clear of minefields
  • In England, one man’s home inadvertently became a focal point for hundreds of players, who congregated outside his home like zombies
  • An 18 year old in Guatemala broke into someone’s home to access Pokémon and was shot 20 times
  • One player using it whilst driving crashed into a police car in Baltimore
  • In Northern Ireland, police had to warn players it was illegal to break into homes to try and catch a Zubalt
  • In the UK, four players got lost in a mine and had to be rescued
  • In New York, a man drove his car into a tree in pursuit of a hallowed Pokémon
  • And finally… a Pokémon GO dating service has launched

I’m Praying this is a Fad!

Considering the immense popularity of Pokémon, it’s unclear whether this will be a blip in the world of apps. It’s only Nintendo’s second (after the gloriously surreal Miitomo) and the company’s market value shot up by $7 billion in a couple of days due to the monumental success of this thing.

With the potential to introduce new Pokémon as and when it pleases (there are only 151 at the moment) and an exclusive marketing deal for brands such as McDonald’s on the way, Nintendo is set to make a goddamn fortune.

As for the rest of us… quake in fear, people. The company has more apps on the way. Perhaps it’s time to rebuild those old bomb shelters from WWII and get to praying for a saviour.

7 comments

  1. I haven’t played it yet – I’m waiting for PokemonGo 2: Extension Pack, though even then it might be better to wait for PokemonGo 38: The Musical. That’s without competitors – I bet that even as I write this, programmers deep inside the UFO-shaped Apple HQ in Cupertino are typing code at 1000 lines an hour…

    • Play it if you dare and be wary when you do. You have to watch where you’re going – it’s genuinely dangerous. I’ll be happy when Pokemon GOAT is released. When you download the game you get a free goat – you attach your phone to the goat so it collects all the Pokemon for you. For the indolent amongst us! That’s one of the strangest ideas I’ve come up with, I think.

  2. It’s very upsetting to see so many people playing the game with complete disregard for life and people around them. But as long as you’re responsible and don’t make it an obsession (it’s so very easy with this game, I swear) it can be a really fulfilling experience. I have never been more excited to go outside!

    • I fully agree there. One problem is the smartphone era is throwing up new experiences for people, but no one has been educated about safe or polite social etiquette. It’s left for everyone to judge it for themselves, with often disastrous or annoying consequences.

      It is a fun game though, it just takes a degree of common sense to play. One great thing is it’s united people like some sort of liberal magnet – I’ve never seen so many people getting on! But this is offset by people breaking into homes, so hopefully the latter bit will calm down soon.

      • Not only that, it’s made people who have depression, anxiety, etc., leave their homes and enjoy the outdoors! It’s done wonderful things for their mental and physical health.
        Hopefully when the craze dies down, everyone will go back to just playing casually without any major consequences 🙂

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