A new mobile app is sweeping the nation and its name is Pokémon Go. For those of us that experienced it first hand, Pokémon first landed big in the U.S. back in the 90s and captured the imaginations of children far and wide. The franchise has come back around, and this time it’s making its first smart phone debut.
The premise is simple and the series’ tagline: catch ‘em all. Players are tasked with collecting all the 151 types of pocket monsters, or Pokémon, and the mobile game has its players do this by exploring the real world. Using the phone’s GPS, players explore an augmented reality of the real world. They track down the nearby monsters and catch them as they appear transposed onto what the phone’s camera sees. The game itself is innocuous, excluding a recent security concern regarding an error in what account information is available to the game.
What has been causing some real world pressures though has been player behavior. This is in line with typical concerns of smart phone usage, especially with operation while driving. The allure of catching Pokémon at any time has led to some overeager players to attempt to play the game while driving, with sometimes disastrous results. It’s not just driving either. There have been cases of players straying into traffic, trespassing, and even walking off cliffs in pursuit of wild Pokémon. Some local governments are even considering passing regulation specifically targeting the game.