***Update 1 – 2016-07-21 – 21:10 CEST***
I (Robin Ek) just wanted to point out that PETA (and others) compared Pokémon to dog fighting as early as 1998. In the matter of fact, PETA has even created some Pokémon parody games called “Pokémon red, white and blue” and “Pokémon black and blue“.
“PETA helped Pokémon liberate themselves from their trainers in Pokémon: Black & Blue, but giant corporations are still exploiting Pokémon for nefarious purposes. Are Pokémon profits earned at the expense of animals’ well-being? Join PETA as we help Pikachu and his Pokémon friends journey to America to unravel a conspiracy that affects us all!”
I just wanted to clarify that fact. Thank you.
Nintendo´s “Pokémon GO” is taking the world by storm, and its daily revenue is over $1.6 million in the US alone. That´s just the half of it though, as the “Pokémon GO” downloads are rapidly growing into insane figures (“Pokémon GO” is now the biggest mobile game in U.S. history!). So “Pokémon GO” is without a doubt one of the biggest game launches of our time. However, there is a down side to Pokémon GO´s success story as well. As the game´s huge success has also spawned some of the most ridiculous statements and articles that I’ve seen in a long time. And I´m talking about everything from one person linking the game to “Dog Fighting”, to an article making this bold statement that “Warning: Pokemon GO is a Death Sentence if you are a Black Man.” We have officially reached a new level high in madness, and things will just get crazier from here (you can trust me on that one).
I mean, just take this quote by Huffington Post´s Omari Akil:
“The premise of Pokémon GO asks me to put my life in danger if I chose to play it as it is intended and with enthusiasm. Let’s just go ahead and add Pokémon GO to the extremely long list of things white people can do without fear of being killed, while Black people have to realistically be wary.” – Omari Akil, Huffington Post
And right off the bat, regardless of your color even the most trivial things such as riding a bike to work can be dangerous. So reading things like this just makes me scratch my head. And I’ll probably never understand this situation, since I´m a CIS white Brit. Nevertheless, I feel that this is some of the most hysterical hyperbole that I’ve read in a long time. I mean honestly, when has a white person ever been mugged or killed for their phone? That never happens right? RIGHT?.
Well, I think you get my point. So let´s return to the subject of “Pokémon GO” and crazy headlines. As I was saying, “Pokémon GO” has made all sorts of headlines. And that includes everything from two men falling off a cliff (they only suffered from minor injuries luckily enough), dead bodies being found to hundreds of people rushing to catch at Charizard in a park. Some headlines are rather remarkable, and some are quite funny. And then we have some absolute mind-boggling headlines being made such as this headline from Kotaku “Pokémon Go Can Be Depressing For Fans With Physical Disabilities”, which is one hell of a way to put a negative spin on things.
Personally, I find the fact that I’m not a professional footballer trying to get England past a qualifying match in the Euro’s to be rather depressing (sarcasm). Once again, the “Everything and everyone must be inclusive argument” appears again. And it’s just getting tiring now. What this article fails to turn attention to, is the fact how “Pokémon GO” is bringing people together (not the other way around), even to the point of assisting psychically disabled in enjoying the game.
I mean, It’s pretty odd that we’re seeing such articles like this appearing now.Especially since most of these sites and journalists didn´t pay all that much attention to these social issues before the release of “Pokémon GO”… Well, here´s a reality check. Krystal Cantu can lift more weight than I ever can (despite the fact that I´m having two arms, while Cantu is having one arm ). Simply put, there are many things people can’t do whether they’re disabled or not . And let´s not forget the fact that we have Olympians with disabilities. And we’re going to see them in action later in the year, doing their friends/family and country proud on one of the greatest stages of the world. And despite that fact, we still have journalists telling us “Pokémon GO” is excluding people? Don’t let anyone tell you what can and cannot be capable of.
So, what’s stopping people from taking a time-out in their lives and taking their friend out looking for some Pokemon in a wheelchair? Absolutely nothing. As Gaming brings people together (there are plenty of helpful people out there that´s willing to help a disabled person in his or her search for some Pokémon), and “Pokémon Go” is doing something that hasn’t been done on this scale in a long time. Yes, I´m talking about the fact that instead of having friends hooking up online. They’re going out on walks together, socializing and (god forbid) having fun! In a way, it´s just like when the “Pokémon” cards took the world by storm back in the 90s. As people got together swapped cards and played their hearts out.
However, we also had reports of muggings, fights and the cards were even banned from schools. Nevertheless, the media and “journalists (especially Gaming journalists) always seem to be very eager to find a negative in this because bad news sells, and right now the “Pokémon GO” is coming for your children and your dog!
“Pokémon Go” has also been classed as dangerous, so dangerous, in fact. That some people even believe that “Pokémon GO” is capable of getting you killed. And Vox culture blast off with a bunch of incidents with headlines such as “Pokémon Go might kill you. Here’s how”. Well, sure. You might trip over your cat while trying to bag Squirtle, get some grazed knees while falling down a rabbit hole. Nevertheless, believe or not, but the great outside has these perils with or without “Pokémon Go”. So yeah, It’s a blunt statement for sure. And let´s be honest here, stupid people will get injured regardless of whether they’re playing a game or trying to plank off a building . We live in a world where it’s considered fun (by some people) to set fireworks off from their ass (the world is full of Jack ass wannabe´s, unlucky and stupid people).
And for every positive article (especially when it comes to Games, Gamers and Gaming), there are about five negative ones that are telling you how your life is in danger because of a mobile app. Yes, I know, It’s very tiring. And we’ve seen this kind of thing happen before. Like in the case with Pokémon cards (as I mentioned earlier), or when the cellphones were on the rise (there were plenty of articles, posts and whatnot about health risks, etc.).
There is always a risk in many of the things we do in our lives, so common sense is a must have when it comes to playing on something as expensive as a smart phone. Especially since people have had their phones snatched, and some children have put themselves into needless danger. Upon immediately booting up the app it tells you to be weary of your surroundings and this is good advice. So don’t ignore it, because there are a lot of bad and evil people in the world that don’t care for your well-being, or whether or not you’re having fun. Furthermore, have some common sense and respect.
And please don’t go wandering into graveyards in search of a Haunter or into caves looking for Kabutops. And for the love of god, don’t go climbing into other people’s gardens for the sake of a game. As you wouldn’t normally pull-off any stunts like that, so don’t start doing silly things like that for the sake of it. In other words, don´t do anything stupid, stay safe and if your phone is stolen. Then report it to the police with the IMEI. So that your phone can be blocked from being sold in exchange stores (or ebay).
And naturally, when it comes to really popular trends, games, apps and whatnot. There are always people who are seeking to play out the “sensibly persecutions” card. And that very card wasn´t far out of reach thanks to Robyn Vinter´s awful Pokémon GO” piece (as seen in the picture above) “What happened to the good old days, when gamers stayed firmly indoors with no need to venture outside and nerds feared social interaction? If only there were such a thing as “Pokemon Go away”. Yes Robyn, we also wish vile bullies such as yourselves would go away as well, but we can’t have everything now can we?
The whole “guys using Pokemon Go to hit on me” articles are just a bore. I don’t care that you think that you’re pretty and everyone else is below you. And it’s sure rather sad when you think your personal life is so news worthy. The only thing I take from this is that I’m glad I’m not a 16-year-old guy in this day and age, because I’d be terrified of asking a girl for her number with fear I’d be lambasted in some blog or tabloid (as if things aren’t complicated enough as it already is…).
And now for something a little less serious, but incredibly silly. You see. Feminist Frequency´s EX-contributor Mr. Jonathan Mcintosh showed up from nowhere on Twitter and started to link “Pokémon GO” to Dog fighting (yes, you read it right the first time). And how did all of that happen? Well, apparently Mcintosh found that after capturing the little pocket monsters you could battle with them at your local gym (to become the very best, the best there ever was). And being the person he is, Mcintosh somehow instantly managed to link to the awful blood-sport of dog fighting to “Pokémon GO”. And that´s with no doubt pure nonsense. So I take it that Mcintosh brains (and mind) must be on another planet somewhere, because Pokémon has been around since the late 90s. And to my knowledge, no one but Mcintosh has made that connection.
Hell, it’s even a well-known fact that Ash (and friends) capture “Pokémon” in-order to battle gym leaders (I guess that Mcintosh ignored this fact). I’ll never forget Pikachu getting his ass kicked by Magma. Furthermore, I would like to disclose that I don’t take my rabbit down the bookies and make him fight to the death against a Bear. Any ways,some of us are capable of separating reality from fiction. However, Mcintosh is still struggling with this. Speaking of which, is capturing “Pokémon” and making them battle immoral? I don’t know, but you watch the “Bye bye Butterfree” episode and tell me.
You know, now that I´m thinking about. We sure live in a remarkable time, a time where you’re able to catch Pokémon in an augmented reality on your cellphone. And if you told me that we would be doing this in the year 2016 back in 1999. Then I’d laughed in your face. Nevertheless, It’s brilliant to relive childhood nostalgia as well as introducing a new generation to one of the greatest franchises of all time. And I´ll have you know that I grew up with Pokemon, I watched the anime. I’ve seen the movies. I have collected the cards, and I´ve played the games. And now I can catch them on my phone.
So, is “Pokémon GO” going to get me killed? Well, there is always a possibility of a deadly accident and such, because nothing is without risk. For example, if I thoughtlessly walk out into traffic or fall down a man-hole. Then yeah, I could hurt myself or die. However, that’s no one’s fault but my own, but at least I won’t die as a miserable pessimistic gold goat.
Robin Ek – Editor and Co-writer
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
The Gaming Ground
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