Editorial: Mobile game a little craze-y

By Andrew Austin

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A Pokemon reveals itself on Queen St as commuters walk on by. Photo/NZH
A Pokemon reveals itself on Queen St as commuters walk on by. Photo/NZH

To be honest, I don't know what all the fuss is about this Pokemon Go craze that is sweeping the world.

For those of you who have never heard of it, the new Nintendo game is the spawn of the original Pokemon launched in the 1990s. The whole concept of the game is "augmented reality" - a game and the real world interacting.

It uses your mobile phone's GPS and clock to determine the location and time. It then plants Pokemon virtual creatures around the players and people have to go out into the real world and catch all the Pokemon they can. Apparently there are about 150 in the new game.

While the game may sound silly to some, I suppose it does achieve a lofty goal of getting people, especially children, off the couch playing games and outside doing exercise, even if it is walking around hunting for Pokemon.

So, if you happen to see people alone or in groups aimlessly wandering around with their eyes locked on their mobile phone screen, don't worry - they are probably hooked on Pokemon Go.

It is not hard to predict that some interesting scenarios could unfold. ACC has even issued some tips on how to stay safe while playing the game.

Overseas, there have also been warnings to gamers to be careful if the game takes them to construction sites or near railway tracks. There was even a case of teens waiting at a site to rob some gamers.

However, the most amusing tale was of the TV newsreader in Florida who forgot where she was and walked in front of the cameras while the weatherman was giving the forecast. He laughed and blamed the game.

I wonder how long before we all get a little tired of it all.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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