Ever since the summer of 2016, the company Niantic’s phone app “Pokémon Go” has become a popular game spanning around the globe. With individual’s phones being able to locate and capture the fictional creatures known as Pokémon, it’s no wonder this game has piqued the interest of so many people. However, even with its popularity, this game has many pros and cons. While some are little issues that can be fixed with time, others can be very dangerous to players.
First, the positive aspects of “Pokémon Go” help individuals both socially and non-socially.
The Game is Bringing Families Closer Together
Since “Pokémon Go” is a phone app, it is bringing different generations of people together to try and capture Pokémon. Parents and children are going out for walks looking for Pokémon, and even some elderly are playing the game with their grandchildren. Adults that weren’t very interested in the Pokémon craze from the 1990s, are now finding out why the youth from back then loved the franchise so much.
Socializing with the Community
Not only are families coming together due to this phone app, but “Pokémon Go” players are also meeting each other. Through special landmarks called Pokéstops, players can get items for their game causing them to stop, chat, and compare their Pokémon. With this happening everywhere, more friendships are being made as more members of the community are meeting each other.
It is Causing People to Become More Active
The main point of “Pokémon Go” is to get up, go outside, and find Pokémon in the world. This has had a very positive effect on the issue of people not getting enough exercise and outdoor activity. With individuals now going on “Pokéwalks” with their friends and family, and even family drives to parks and beaches to look for new Pokémon, people are getting outside more and getting a decent amount of daily exercise.
Finding New Places
With people traveling to different places in search of new Pokémon to capture, the possibility of coming across places they have never been before is high. With these new discoveries people can find new restaurants, secret coves, cool looking statues, and more.
It’s a Nice Little Break Away From Life
Like most games, playing “Pokémon Go” is a good way to relieve stress and take a little break from the world. Whether at work or even at school, if people can play responsibly, they can have a good break in between classes or work shifts.
While these pros show that “Pokémon Go” has a lot of good things going for it, there have still been some major cons that can put a damper on the game.
The Multiple Amounts of Glitches and Crashes
One of the worst thing a new player can experience is throwing a pokeball at a high leveled or ultra-rare Pokémon only to have the ball stop twitching when it has the Pokémon inside. This has happened to a lot of people who play the app, making it frustrating and confusing to newer players. While Niantic has tried to stop these glitches from happening, they still occur fairly often, making the game rather difficult to play.
False Pokestops/Dangerous Strangers
“Pokémon Go” has a lot of innocence and charm to it, but it wasn’t long for people to start using the app for criminalizing players. Some situations have occurred in the past few months where players have been tricked into going to Pokéstops that are isolated from others to be robbed of their belongings and threatened. While this isn’t a common thing to find happening, it is advised that players travel with friends or family and be cautious of the surroundings they are heading towards at night.
The Lack of Variety in Pokemon
While the game has people leaving their homes in search of Pokémon, it is kind of frustrating to find that there aren’t many different kinds around large areas. The two Pokémon, Pidgey and Rattata, being the most common around suburban areas and cities, causing players to ponder about the lack of variety. With 151 Pokémon being available to be able to choose and capture from, there should be more different kinds running around than the same Pokémon over and over again. Niantic hasn’t announced anything about other Pokémon from the franchise becoming available for capture but fans are waiting in anticipation for more types of Pokémon to catch soon.
Deaths or Near Deaths from Lack of Observation
“Remember to be alert at all times. Stay aware of your surroundings.” This prompt shows up every time a player starts a game to remind the player to be aware and cautious of where they are going. However, even with this warning, there have still be some, while few, occurrences where people have fallen off cliffs, into lakes, and have almost been hit be on speeding vehicles while playing the game. While the players are more at fault for not heeding the warning and using common sense, the game has gotten a lot of skeptical eyes for these occurrences. Niantic have retaliated this issue by putting in more prompts to stop these instances from happening in the future.
The Game Drains Phone Battery
Eating battery life like it was a five star meal, “Pokémon Go” drains players’ phones quickly before they have even got a chance to capture many Pokémon. One hour of playing can bring a phone’s battery down to a quarter of life. This issue is caused mostly from the usage of the AR mechanic that allows the app to use the phones camera to make it look like the Pokémon the player is catching is in the real world. Another reason it drains battery life so fast is the apps usage of the phones GPS system to track where the player is. While this issue can be fixed by bringing along a phone power bank, it’s an issue that Niantic still has not found a solution to yet.
With the pros and cons laid out, “Pokémon Go” is still entertaining and a blast to take out and play from time to time. As long as players are cautious, and use common sense they should have no issues. All in all, get out there and go catch ‘em all!