Get Off Your PokemonGo Soapbox

PokemonGo has not even been out a full month, and its impact can be felt worldwide with an estimated 9.5 million daily users.  To put that in perspective that is more people than the total population of New York City.

tumblr_mh74nokblu1r3ifxzo1_500So what is PokemonGo?

Pokemon is owned by Nintendo.  The idea of the game is for trainers to travel the globe in search of Pokemon.  Pokemon are creatures that come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and levels of cuteness.  Once a trainer has caught a Pokemon they can train, evolve, and use their Pokemon to battle others in arenas, and simulated battles of power, magic, and brute strength.

Pokemon has been around for a long time, and been featured as a TV show, Nintendo video game, and a collectable card game.  Now, with the release of PokemonGo iPhone and Android users can play the game in virtual reality.

The game requires users to walk, run, move and explore the world around them.  As they do so they can discover wild Pokemon, catch them, and visit training gyms, and battle their Pokemon against other users Pokemon.

Pretty simple right?

So why is there so much hatred, outcry, and utter disgust over the game?

In the last week I have seen every kind of negative post that you can imagine on social media surrounding the game.  Things like…

  • Concern over children walking into busy streets
  • Players walking into businesses without buying anything
  • Child predators can use the game to kidnap kids

The list goes on and on and on.

Now I suppose everyone is entitled to their opinion, and a game this popular is certainly going to have its naysayers.  But I can’t help but feel that the majority of those people complaining about PokemonGo are simply doing it because it gives them something to hate.  A soapbox to stand on, and receive attention from.  An opportunity to flex their bully muscles, and appear concerned for the welfare of their common man.

I call bullshit!

From my opinion PokemonGo is one of the most ingenious games to come out in years.  It tackles one of the biggest, and growing concerns of epidemic obesity.  Which has been a growing problem in, at least the United States, for years.  For the first time in many a year children, and adults are getting off the couch, going outside, and being active!

Major parks are FILLED with people again.  Playgrounds are sometimes stuffed to capacity. Walking trails are being used.  Running groups are being created with a cross platform of playing PokemonGo while exercising.  This is brilliant!

And yet, there are still people out there complaining about this game.

Probably the same people who complained about kids staying inside, and playing video games all day.

PokemonGo has the potential to change the way gamers play video games.  It has the possibility of changing the way businesses interact with their customers.  It has the potential to help both child and adult get out and explore the big world all around us, and I personally think that is a good thing.