An app that started as an April Fools prank has grown into a global event, taking gamers out of the living room and onto the streets as they struggle to apprehend, train and fight Pokémon characters using their mobile telephones.
The percentage value of Nintendo, which controls a third of the Pokémon Company and an undisclosed stake in the game’s developers Niantic, has climbed by 50%, and the announcement of the amusement in other nations, comprising the United Kingdom, has been put on hold whilst the developers strive to cope with the trade.
When the app is initiated, it displays a map of the region around the opponent, with many positions of interest identified, icons, clock towers and so on. You physically walk up to one of the positions, pointed to in the game as a Pokéstop, then tap a symbol on-screen and you’re compensated with items and experience points.
The game is not just for single opponents, and some places have become centres of Pokémon action. New York’s Central Park, for example, has been running not just with the typical groups of tourists but with opponents monitoring their telephones for nearby Pokémon.
Usually, you wouldn’t go to a desolate alley at 3am, and that shouldn’t change just because an app tells you that you should.
However even though it couldn’t be foretold how strong the game would be, particularly as it began as April Fool’s Day prank, data from the analytics firm SimilarWeb infers that 3% of all Americans initiated the Pokémon Go app last Friday, just imperceptibly below the 3.5% who opened Twitter, and the game has already been installed on more American Android telephones than the dating app Tinder.
A Pokemon Go player in the United Kingdom phoned 999 to report stolen Pokemon. The distress call was initiated at 11:15 BST on Friday, the day after the hit smartphone game was started in the UK.
Pokemon Go may be a pleasant activity. Yet it’s further turning out to be very dangerous. In fact, it’s turning out to be the classic case of why wandering around completely immersed in what’s happening on your smartphone is such a dangerous concept.
If all your friends dived off a cliff, would you too? What if your Pokémon took you there?
Two men in their early 20s plunged a predicted 50 to 90 feet down a cliff in Encinitas, California, on Wednesday afternoon whilst playing Pokémon Go. The men sustained injuries, though the degree of their injuries is not certain.
Pokémon Go is a free-to-play app that gets users up and moving in the physical world to catch fictional pocket monsters identified as Pokémon. The aim is to seize as many of the more than hundred varieties of animated Pokémon as you can.
Clearly, it wasn’t enough that the app advises users to stay aware of surroundings or that warnings posted on a barrier adjacent the cliff stated “No Trespassing” and “Do Not Cross.” When firefighters came to the scene, one of the men was at the base of the cliff whilst the other was three-quarters of the way down and had to be winched up.
Both men were brought to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. They were not charged with trespassing.
It’s not worth life or limb since life is too fragile to permit a human being to dive off a cliff just because a game tells us to do so. If a single person thinks that a game should dominate our lives then we are doomed and completely fucked.
This game is not user-friendly since it defines what we do, and how we do it. A game that tells us to track down a Pokemon and so on is a hint that something is very wrong, and I shiver at the idea of what people will be playing on their apps in a subsequent couple of years.
What began as a rather harmless April Fool’s day prank, has turned into a pretty deadly game, of people running about with excitement, seeking to find something that an app on their phone tells them to, and it’s vital to recognize that people are guided by the mind, and the mind drives people to do stupid things.
There are also people on driving lessons, asking their driving instructors to stop the car because there’s a Pokemon that they want to get. Are we actually a race of bumbling fools that are dominated by a single app on our phones?