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Gotta Catch ‘Em All (Or Not)

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Nicole Glidden | Opinions Editor

Opposing side by Chloe Heinz below


Pokémon fans across the globe are rejoicing as they race around their neighborhoods catching the invisible monsters. All generations are competing to become the number one gym leader in their areas, with intentions to become the very best that no one ever was.

Pokémon Go strays slightly from the Nintendo games most of us enjoyed in grade school, yet its new features still provide endless hours of enjoyment. After reaching a level five status, trainers can choose to join Team Mystic, Valor, or Instinct, which adds to the competitive nature of the game. Pokémon Go uses Google Maps to place Gyms and PokéStops on real landmarks and locations, which requires players to go outside and explore their home towns. The game has even served as a dating app, as users have met other compatible players on outings. Perhaps the best part of the game is that there is nothing more rewarding than catching a coveted Pikachu or Charmander after hours of hunting.

From a business viewpoint the game is doing extremely well, as Niantic currently has a monopoly on alternate reality games for mobile devices. Pokémon Go even broke the App Stores record for most downloads during a launch week.

Admittedly, the game got off to a rough start due to Pokémon lovers becoming oblivious to their surroundings. However, no fault can be placed upon Niantic, as the game politely reminds players on the load screen to remain aware of life around them and avoid trespassing. In fact, the company is so invested in their users’ safety that the most recent update installed a speed sensor, which requires players to confirm that they are not playing while driving, and are indeed a passenger. Although some players are discontent with this new addition, it is only an issue if they  are performing illegal actions.

Most people who criticize the game never played as children, and have not downloaded the app. They fail to partake in the nostalgia and new excitement that comes with the modern adaptation.

Say what you will, but Pokémon Go is irrefutably a success and will continue to bring people of all ages and ethnicities together. Viva La Pokémon!

Chloe Heinz | Sports Editor

Pokémon Go has consumed the attention of Americans, young and old alike. Pokémon-Goers can be easily spotted wandering around aimlessly in public areas with their heads down and eyes glued to their cell-phones, blind to the world around them.

What is so baffling about the rise of this ridiculous fad is that it has little to no benefit. From the game itself to the repercussions, it only serves as a waste of time.

As for the complexity of the game, there is none. The sole purpose is to catch Pokémon and dominate gyms, but what is there after that? This app is a poor attempt at recreating the greatness of Nintendo games such as Pokémon Diamond and Pearl that we so fondly pored over in the good-old DS days. What Pokémon Go fails to capture is the character interaction and the actual step by step tasks to complete a mission. The phone app is a shallow shell of the greatness that was its predecessor.

Aside from the poorly executed game design, Pokémon Go also causes a multitude of problems. On a small scale, Pokémon Go is detrimental to data plans all over the country. Since users are playing in areas that may not have WiFi, they’re forced to data roam. Family feuds heat up when the Pokémon player has exhausted all data only halfway through the month. It doesn’t stop there. A player’s phone battery can drop from fully charged to 30 percent within 20 minutes. Though the app has developed a power-saving mode, it has  little impact to combat the problem.

On a more extreme level, Pokémon Go has been the cause of injury and crime. Dedicated users trespass in the name of catching a rare Pokémon. Robbers rely on public gyms and catching locations to corral their next victims. Three players were robbed at gunpoint in Baltimore Maryland, according to the Insurance Journal’s national news section. Pokémon-occupied eyes fail to take notice of their surroundings, resulting in injuries ranging from a stubbed toe to stumbling into oncoming traffic. One player was hit by a car while crossing a Pennsylvania highway and suffered from collar-bone and foot  injuries.

Perhaps the saddest detriment to Pokémon Go users is that it blinds them to the gems of the world around them. Though the game guides them to world-acclaimed museums and monuments, the culture is not appreciated. The identity of, say, the Holocaust Museum is thought of by some ignorant Americans as just another popular spot to catch virtual made-up creatures and disrespect others’ enjoyment.

Written by Nicole Glidden

Nicole Glidden is a proud Cheez-It addict, who spends her free time binge watching Netflix. She has trouble getting into jeans, due to her soccer calves. Nicole hates running with a passion, yet participates in multiple sports.

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