Columns 26.7.2016 11:31 am

Pokemon Go doing more good than harm

Sibusiso Mkhwanazi

Sibusiso Mkhwanazi

Yes, a few people have fallen into ditches and some have lost their jobs, but this game is doing more good than bad.

We have been brought up to think that solutions come in a certain package, they must sound a certain way and they must be approved by some or other regulatory body. This would have made sense a few years ago, but we are living in a time when the young are in firm control and the old have to catch up, if their walking sticks and wheelchairs allow them to.

Lots of conversations have been had around the latest craze: Pokemon Go. To be more correct, Pikachu and his friends are a reincarnation of an old game that was conceived when I was young. The brilliant thing is that its makers found a way to not only bring it back, but make it extremely popular.

Wifey and I instruct our twin boys to put down their tablets, switch off the PlayStation and TV, and to go and play outside. Pokemon Go does exactly this, but the difference is that the kids listen… The operative word here is “Go”, as this mobile game enables users to locate virtual monsters (such as Pikachu) in the real world. Problem: kids never want to go outside and play. Solution: Pokemon Go. Simple.

Yes, a few people have fallen into ditches. Yes, some players have lost their jobs, and yes, Rihanna has sent out a directive for her concerts, instructing lovers of her music not to play Pokemon Go at her shows, but this game is doing more good than bad. For instance, one of the players in the US found a buried corpse, and who knows, one of the many CSI television franchises might give her a job!

And the great thing about Pokemon Go is that it is not only played by millennials. A number of older people I know are part of this scene and this has opened up an entirely different view of the world. There is one gentleman right here in South Africa who has quit his day job and has become a professional Pokemon Go coach.

While others see a nuisance, others see an opportunity. Imagine the places you have been struggling for years to get your loved ones to, without fail. Now, it is possible for them to follow a virtual monster, and find themselves where you want them. Parents can get their kids to at least know where the church building is; wives can lead their husbands to the local flower shop; husbands can lead their wives to the local lingerie shop. The possibilities are endless.


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