Pokemon Go - My 2 copper (Part 1)
Never thought that I'd be spending my birthday writing up something like this, but today has been fairly quiet, so here goes.
Ok, so there has been a lot of media attention on the Pokemon Go phenomenon that has been sweeping the globe over the past week or so - and it has not even been released in all major countries yet. To my knowledge, as of the time of this entry, Japan still does not have it (kind of surprising in and of itself) and China will probably not get it for some time due to Google being blocked by the Great Firewall of China.
Before I get started, some disclosure: Yes, I have dabbled in Pokemon Go. I would be considered a low-end player of it - I only clock in the odd half hour here and there, I'm not on it for hours like some of the more hardcore players and due to my workload, I don't really have the time to go on the lengthy walks needed for some aspects of the app.
A lot of people, primarily baby-boomers it seems, have been VERY negative towards what has otherwise been an incredibly positive app and is bringing out the better side in a lot of people. Ignorant comments have been slung around people 'needing to get a job', 'rethink their life decisions' and in the harshest of cases 'kill themselves' or 'remove themselves from the gene pool'. I don't care WHAT your paper-thin excuse for a 'justification' may be, there is NEVER an excuse to tell someone to go kill themself. NEVER.
Most of the vitriol seems to be focussed at young adults, those in the early-to-mid twenties, who are incidentally the apps core demographic. Here's a little insight for you.
Pokemon first came out in 1996, 20 years ago now. It was actually a bit of marketing brilliance to bring out the app to mark the 20th anniversary of one of the biggest pop culture phenomenons in history.
In 1996, those in their mid twenties would have been maybe 5-6 years old. In contrast, the kids of todays age who said naysayers SEEM to think that the app is geared towards likely have no idea who some of the key characters even ARE. Secondly, do you REALLY want a 7 or 8 year old wandering the streets with a multi-hundred-dollar smartphone, which any malicious a-hole can just walk by, yank it out of the kids hand and run off laughing? But I digress. Those who are in their 20's, maybe 30's, are the ones that were most influenced by it, just like kids who were born in the 70's to 80's might have been influenced by something like G.I Joe or Transformers.
There has been ignorant, hate-filled comments from people popping up, saying that they need to 'get off their asses and do something more productive.' Ummm HELLO? EARTH TO DIMWIT? They ARE 'getting off their asses', some people out there are walking a good 10-15 km per day (up to 10 miles, for those readers out there that live in America), getting fresh air and sunlight, meeting new people and generally having fun. I bet that said keyboard warriors would not have the guts to walk into a place like Central Park while there is actually people playing the app within arm's reach and say that. Have fun with the ensuing lynch mob.
Just today, I saw another typical knee-jerk comment on the facebook profile of someone I used to have a lot of respect for, someone who is actually a health ADVOCATE, but seems to have jumped on the anti-pokemon bandwagon.
'HAHAhahaahahhahaha SERIOUSLY! These Pokemon people are just giving their personal info over for massive marketing and research... or do they not figure out how a free app makes millions? Anyway, HA! #ISurvivedParachutePants'
I ended up penning this response to them. They have yet to respond.
"The way they are making their money is through microtransactions, like every other 'free-to-play' game out on the mobile market (including but not limited to any game that has 'saga' in it, diamond dash, various free Namco branded games, etc etc etc).
Also it has been confirmed that they are NOT 'harvesting personal information', beyond the standard geocaching that pretty much ANY app that uses GPS would do, a patch has since been released that reflects the apps privileges more appropriately. If you are THAT worried about your information being 'harvested' for marketing purposes, I suggest you stop playing ANY mobile game to be released - past, present or future.
Lastly, I have a bachelor's degree and work three jobs. I think I have earned the right to do what I please with my own free time.
Gotta love how people think that sitting in a bar drinking liquids pretty much DESIGNED to kill you over the long term, then getting in a potentially lethal vehicle while under the influence of said substances is 'normal', yet getting out in the fresh air and getting exercise (*cough*fighting obesity*cough*), meeting new people and generally having fun with a pastime you enjoy is 'abnormal and needs reconsideration of life choices'.
Just as an example - there is examples of people who were originally shy, introverted people, that did not like going out because of judgemental a**holes who are now getting out and about, walking up to 15km a DAY and getting in pretty damn good shape. I'd think someone who is as avid about fitness as you would be EMBRACING a positive trait like this, not shunning it!"
(To be continued, as I have a family commitment to tend to.)