First off, the disclaimer: I'm not criticizing anyone for playing Pokemon Go. I'm just not. Granted, I have not played but that's weather related. The heat index in Tulsa has been 100+ pretty much every day since the game dropped last week and I am NOT taking my whiny bitch ass out into weather like that. It will make me whine and bitch too much. That being said, I do have a similar hobby: I'm a pet collector in World of Warcraft.
Yup, that's me. Over 600 types of pets with many more captured and sold. I don't save doubles and some of them go for lots of gold. I love it. I've spent not just hours but days and probably weeks at my keyboard going all over Azeroth in search of rare pets. I've camped some places. I went to the same damn spawn point every day for two months to get one. Guys, I respect your hobby. I really, really do. If this is still popular come fall, I may very well play. Pokemon GO! sounds like a really awesome game.
There is, however, something that I have to call you all out on. It's not the fact that you play a game. I know that most of the adults that play are gainfully employed and many of them are playing because they've finally found something their kids will do with them. THIS IS A GOOD THING. I get the desire to collect virtual stuff. I'm a hardcore WoWhead. I haven't even talked about my in-game toy or mount collections either. I'm with you. I'm a lot like you guys. Here's what I'm saying though:
PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT IS GOING ON AROUND YOU WHILE YOU'RE PLAYING. That's all. Don't be a danger to yourself or to others. The stories I've heard over the past few days amaze me. I've heard stories of car accidents. A life long friend almost ran over a kid that ran out in front of her.. and then got flipped off by the kids father. I know of a church that had to post signs in their parking lot about "Play at your own risk" because people were injuring themselves by WALKING INTO LIGHT POLES. People, help me out here.
I get the love of a cell phone. I sell them for a living. Seriously. I have one in my pocket. I have two chargers for it in case it runs down at work. I play Candy Crush to the point where I have all three apps and can't watch a TV episode without playing. I get it. But guys, really, it's not worth dying over.
Look, a lot of good can come from this game. I get that. People exercising is a good thing. (Yes, I'm a hypocrite here. So be it.) People socializing is a good thing. Increases in business are a good thing. Seriously. I have a friend who works in marketing. He went to one of the places where he works and set a couple of Pokemon lures in the parking lot. In an hour or so, twenty-seven people went past him playing. Twenty-three of them went into his store. If this keeps up (and who knows if it will) this game could be really good for the mass economy. I approve. As a guy who just spent a bunch of money at the urgent care clinic yesterday, I'm just not looking for it to add to the amount of money paid to the medical profession. Can we please set some common sense rules here? And no, I'm not talking about government regulation and asshattery. I'm talking about some basic stuff.
1.) Look where you are going.
Seriously. Running into stuff sucks. Walking out in front of a car can be fatal. So can running your car into something or having a car run into you because you were watching your screen instead of driving. Texting and driving kills and a game like Pokemon Go requires even more of your attention. Before you leave is good. After you get there is good. While you're driving is bad. The person you kill could be me and I'd be pretty pissed off if that happened. So would my kids.
2.) Use basic courtesy
Seriously, if you DO walk out in front of someone the proper response is "My bad." That's all it takes. There's no reason to get hostile with someone who is simply trying not to kill you.
3.) Ask permission before entering private property
For the record, yes, parking lots are private property but that's not what I'm talking about here. If you track a Pokemon into someone's back yard, ask if it's okay to go after it. And seriously, if it's three AM and you're out playing think about passing it up for now. See "basic courtesy" above.
4.) Be aware of suspicious people
I'm aware of at least two cases where people have been robbed when criminals downloaded the Pokemon Go app and used it to find a Pokemon... and then waited for people to show up and try to get it so they could rob them. I'm not a believer in blaming the victim but I do believe in using common sense. If there's a shady looking person standing on top of your Pokemon with his (or her I guess) hands out of sight looking tense, it might be a good idea to go catch some other Pokemon and no, I don't care if it's a Pikachu. If they rob you for your phone you're still not going to have it. And yes, I know that people shouldn't rob each other but that doesn't mean you don't need to use some common damn sense.
5.) Enjoy it!
Listen, I'm not trying to ruin your fun. Honestly, if I wasn't fat and lazy with a severe aversion to sun stroke and sunburn (and yes, my pasty white ass is easily scorched) I'd probably be out there with you. Actually, I'm trying to increase your fun. How much fun are you going to have if you walk off a curb and break your ankle? How much worse would it be if you walked out in front of a car and got run over? And let me mention something else.
I could be off base here, but this REALLY sounds like a good chance to trash talk your buddies. Lord knows what whould happen if I were hanging out with someone and they were tracking a rare... and then I caught it. Dude. Can you imagine? There would be no end to it. I'd be telling that story at my boy's funeral fifty years later. And don't let me find out that your wife/girlfriend plays and would get the story. That would just be epic. So, I'm going to encourage trash talk. It's a good time.
And yes, I know I'm a sanctimonious ass for telling people how to play a game I don't take part in. Frankly, I don't give a rat's ass. I'm not making fun of you. I'm not telling you not to play. I'm just asking you to be smart about it. That's all.
Some Pokemon related products are available at the links below: