Our new Pokemon overlords.

AuthorO'Rourke, Morgan
PositionLast Word

How about that Pokemon Go, huh? Almost overnight, Pokemon went from a popular cartoon/video game vaguely familiar to most adults, to the subject of the most popular mobile game in history, making previous hits like Angry Birds and Candy Crush look like mere pop culture afterthoughts.

Within days of its debut, Pokemon Go had already topped the App Store and Google Play download charts and had more daily active users than Twitter. In the United States alone, iOS players were spending $1.6 million a day on in-game transactions. Nintendo, a part owner of Pokemon Go creator Niantic, saw its stock surge by 65% in the first week, adding billions of dollars to its value. All this for a game that was then only available in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

For the uninitiated, Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game that incorporates GPS and your smartphone's camera to project digital creatures called Pokemon onto the real-world locations on the screen. Players walk around waiting for Pokemon to pop up on their phone so they can catch them. Sedentary gamers have reported getting notably more exercise and even making new friends while out on the hunt.

Not surprisingly, this has also led to accidents and injuries as players wandering around immersed in their phones collide with real-world obstacles. Trespassing has become a problem as players congregate at all hours in places where they are not authorized to be. (A friend of mine actually got a $75 trespassing ticket in a park after closing time while she was playing the game--she's in her 40s, by the way.) A few players were even mugged by assailants who were lying in wait at a Pokestop (a real-life location where in-game items can be collected). This prompted police departments to issue warnings that players need to remember to pay attention to what is going on around them.

Niantic includes a similar disclaimer in the game's terms of service, and further cautions players to "maintain such health, liability, hazard, personal injury, medical, life, and other...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT