It’s been over a week since Pokemon Go, a new augmented reality Pokemon game was dropped on the world by Nintendo and Niantic via the Apple App Store and Google Play. In the wake of such a momentous achievement, which sees players travel the world searching for Pokemon in real-life locations, thousands of children as young as 10 have left their homes to pursue their lifelong dreams.
“I grew up playing the games, wishing I could go on my own Pokemon adventure,” said Kevin Dirks, 10, from Redmond Washington, “but now that I’m an adult I can finally pursue my one true love” Pokemon Training.”
But Pokemon Go isn’t just for those who want to be the very best. “I just like catching Pokemon when I’m board,” said Tiffany Banks, 22, a Georgia Tech in psychology major. When asked about the rash of missing person’s reports due to children leaving their homes to pursue their careers in Pokemon training, Banks continued, “I don’t think it’s good, you know? Mothers and fathers who grew up with the original Red and Blue versions of the game will be jealous of their children's’ opportunity and success. It might breed some resentment.”
Another look at this cultural phenomenon is from the eyes of Dan Brady, 42, senior Office for the Detroit Police Department. “We’ve seen a major drop in violent crimes,” he said over the phone. “The turf wars between major gangs have taken on a new bent. Boundaries have been redrawn because certain Pokemon Gyms are right on the brink. It’s amazing to see lifelong enemies enter a Pokemon battle rather than a knife fight.”
While many look on in awe at an app that finally gets nerds outside to enjoy the world, albeit through their smartphones, some have found the release of the game nothing less than a catastrophe. Emily Huggins, 16, went missing three days ago from her Tampa Bay home after an argument with her mother. “She kept on talking about Ash Ketchum and charizard and I just didn’t understand,” said Emily’s mother, Hannah, 37. “I don’t like the sound of this Ash character. I asked if he was [Emily’s] boyfriend, but she scoffed at me. And what is charizarding? Is it a new rave drug?”
While people from around the world stand dumbfounded by Pokemon trainers who cross busy streets at inappropriate times, there’s no denying that Nintendo has put itself back on the map with a little help from Niantic, and anyone who grew up in the 90s.