- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 21 September 2016
- Written by AMANDA DRENNAN | PHOTOGRAPHY & LEISURE EDITOR
If you see herds of people walking around with their heads down staring at their phones, there’s a good chance they’re playing Pokémon Go. The app was released in July and it’s been a pretty popular game since then.
The app uses GPS tracking to tell where you are and allow you to catch Pokémon that have spawned in your area. This means that in order to catch new Pokémon, the user literally has to walk around. There are landmarks that are called “Pokéstops,” which allow you to collect items like pokéballs, to catch your Pokémon. This app, like most, has a good side and bad side.
This app creates a new problem for users that, for most video games, isn’t a huge problem. The game requires you to walk around, which doesn’t seem like a problem at first. The drawback to this app is the users who are walking around looking down at their phones for Pokémon. They aren’t always paying attention to their surroundings.
This has caused problems, especially when crossing busy roads, and will most likely continue to cause problems in the future. The player might not be paying attention to oncoming traffic. It’s really easy to get wrapped up collecting pokéballs and looking for nearby Pokémon. We’ve all been there, looking for the Charmander and not wanting to look up for a second and lose it.
I can definitely say from firsthand experience, when you’re looking at your phone and walking, you’re not always paying attention to your surroundings. This can be really dangerous if you’re walking in busy areas. You can bump into other people on sidewalks or not even notice you’re crossing a street. It’s important to your game to make sure you get all the pokéstops and pokémon, but it’s more important that you’re safe.
There’s also the danger of people who are playing while driving. When you’re a passenger it’s great because you can collect Pokéstops quicker without having to walk around. Obviously, it’s not safe if the driver is doing this and distracted driving is already a large problem, especially in our generation.
The two worst things that the app effects are your battery life and your data. I can say from experience that I’ve gone a little overboard on using my family’s data plan. I’m not proud to admit that I’ve costed our family more than $15 going over my data plan just playing Pokémon Go. It also drains your battery really quickly. You get really wrapped up in ‘catching them all,’ and before you know it your phone is dying.
There are pros to the app too, of course. It’s fun and you can play it with your friends. It also allows you to walk around and experience new places. Even though your purpose of going somewhere might be to play Pokémon Go, you’re still able to enjoy places you may not have gone to if you weren’t playing. You can also brag to your friends about how many more pokémon you have than them.
If you’re all about playing Pokémon Go, make sure you’re careful. I know it’s really important to catch a Pikachu in Pokémon Go, but being careful and while playing will lead to even more Pikachus in your future.
IMAGE TAKEN from tumblr.com