Poké Menace?

Reed, Editor-in-Chief

The Pokémon Go craze pretty much took over the U.S.A. over this past summer. It is a phone game where one moves around the real world and digitally collects small creatures called Pokémon. One can then fight other nearby players with  their collected Pokémon. Everyday, crowds appeared out of nowhere to play in the hotspots throughout Lake Park. In my opinion, Pokémon Go is a cool, innovative game with some benefits, but the game also has some drawbacks.

Pokémon Go is still a relatively new game, but it’s already broke some records. For one, it is the largest mobile game in the U.S. This brought a whole new demographic of children outside to play – the serious, hardcore gamers as well as novices all are getting outside to enjoy the game as well as the sun. The game encourages being outside and moving around, unlike many other video games. Pokémon Go got more people outside in a few weeks than Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign did in a few years.

Of course, this game is certainly not perfect as many issues have arrived in the first months since its launch. For example, Pokémon Go hotspots like Lake Park have been flooded by crowds well above their carrying capacity. The masses of gamers have been leaving behind dead patches of grass, cigarette buds, garbage, annoyed homeowners, and other disturbances to the neighborhood. Also, the game can be a dangerous one as it has resulted in near kidnappings in addition to muggings. This is because a person can set down lures that attract Pokémon and subsequently people  to a certain spot. Which can and has resulted in crimes. In addition of course walking around the streets looking at your phone is never a good idea as it can result in being hit by cars, or being robbed. Those playing Pokémon Go should never do it at night or alone.

Pokémon Go is a interesting game, and it has grabbed the attention of a nation, but as the winter months approach, the game is dying down as a result of the oncoming cold weather. Whether the popular game will surge in the winter at any time is still yet to be seen. Lately, in response to homeowners in the Lake Park area, Niantic Inc. and Nintendo have reduced the attractiveness of Lake Park as a pokémon hunting destination. Hopefully, this will bring the overpopulating of the area under control while still allowing gamers to explore and get outside.

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