I was in high school in
1991. I never got in to Pokémon when
it was first introduced that year, and I fail to see the appeal now. I can be
swayed; after all, 21 million other people find Pokémon Go fascinating. So much so, it’s the most active mobile game in U.S. history, and it is gaining
Pokémon Go allows players to capture, battle and train virtual Pokémon who appear throughout the real
world. The app uses GPS and the phone’s camera to play. It’s free with several
in-app purchases. Over the past week, I’ve seen my adult friends – and their
kids – get equally psyched about finding Pokémon.
I’ll hand it to the creators – it has broad
But that aside, what else can
this game do?
- It gets you off the couch. Countless medical
professionals praise the game because, well, you can’t play it unless you’re
moving around. Think about all the hidden gems people are finding in their own
towns that they never knew about, thanks to a game (this
guy quit his job to search for cartoon characters full time). On the
contrary, it’s an awful lot of time spent on your cell phone.
- Selfishly for us here at CommScope, can you
imagine the spike in bandwidth that the
network is experiencing over the last few weeks? The app took off virtually
overnight. On the flip side, though, were companies adequately equipped to
handle the sudden spike in demand?
- As a communications professional, I can’t help
but think about the marketing and PR potential in this game. Perhaps it reaches
a commercial point where businesses pay the creators to strategically place a Pokémon inside their store to drive traffic or sales. “There’s a Pokémon here, and it just so happens, I
just got a 25 percent off coupon on my phone!” PC World says Niantic, the creators of the app, are already teasing
The cynic in me also sees the
downside of this game.
- This app learns a great deal about you. It has
access to your location, your camera, your email account. Some have called it a
security risk. It’s not the only
app that has all of this info, but it pays to be aware of what you’re giving
- While it’s getting people out and about, it’s
creating a bit of a traffic hazard (photo courtesy of WTMJ-TV).
There are laws passed about texting while driving, but there are certainly no
laws about playing Pokémon Go while
driving. I’ve seen people walking around, their noses buried in their phone,
and I can’t help but think they’ll be hit by a car, walk into a pole or fall
into a ditch.
- It’s all about the game. Players need to ensure
that not only they’re safe, but they’re also being courteous – and
a hard core Pokémon hunter, or you
happen upon a cartoon character on accident, it pays to be careful, respectful
and mindful of your data. As mom would say, you need to look out for yourself.
And watch your step.