Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Concern I Didn't Use to Share

Pokémon Gym at the local church:
One way to attract the younger crowd.
The younger members of our household have been playing Pokémon Go since it was released on July 6th. Estimates of the number of players run about 20 million, the fastest rate of acceptance of any game in history---and it has yet to be distributed in Asia.

Like many tech inventions, a simple description makes it hard to see what the fuss is all about:
Pokémon Go is a smartphone game that blends the real and digital worlds, tasking players with exploring their neighborhoods to find creatures and treasure for in-game use....

Go is almost boringly simple: Once you encounter a Pokémon in the wild, Go switches into “capture mode,” where users flick Pokeballs at the creature until they nab it.
Staring at the smartphone instead of Cupid's Span (Chronicle)
As might be expected, when millions of shut-ins get out and "go," there are consequences, good, bad, and weird. From the Chronicle alone, a few headlines from the past week:

Animal shelters stand to benefit from rabid Pokémon Go gaming.

The SF Zoo finds three Pokémon Go gyms on property, rolls with it

4,500 say they'll hunt Pokémon together on the streets of San Francisco

‘Pokémon Go’ users help cops arrest attempted-murder suspect

Players get hurt hunting for ‘Pokémon Go’ monsters

Your humble blogger did download Pokémon Go but hasn't activated it due to privacy issues.

No game is that important---to be sure, a concern I would not have shared 30 years ago.

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