Pokemon GO is a glorious use of our free time; it turns our boring, everyday lives into something marvelous without needing you to do a heck of a lot. Just, you know, go outside. This is the game that Michelle Obama wishes she produced, having done more to get young people active in its short run than her Let’s Move! program did in six years.
The amount of foot traffic in public parks and trails is astounding, and stays relatively consistent throughout the day. You could find a group of zombies meandering around a trio of PokeStops in Brampton, with lures active even as late as 5 in the morning.
But, as with anything, a large number of people all doing one thing means that the media can have a field day trying to search across the country for stories, both wholesome and horrifying, related to this phenomenon.
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The increased foot traffic around major cities have resulted in stores getting more business, parks getting more foot traffic, and 9 people getting robbed at gunpoint. Four men aged 16-18 in O’Fallon, Missouri were robbing people with handguns at secluded pokestops. Thankfully, arrests were made not long after, and The O’Fallon Police Department advised the city to take more care when playing late at night.
Shayla Wiggins wanted to find a water Pokemon in Riverton, Wyoming, and headed to the nearest stream to do just that. Unfortunately, she caught more than she bargained for when she stumbled across a body. Police were called and the sheriff’s office handled the case, but we cannot confirm whether or not Wiggins captured the Pokémon she was originally looking for.
Ironically, teens leaving home and finding a body is more linked with Pokemon than one would think. In both the English and Japanese versions of Red and Blue, the television in your home describes a movie with four boys walking on railroad tracks, which sounds a lot like Stand By Me, adapted from Stephen King’s The Body.
A story where, well, kids leave home and journey to see a body. Nintendo has referenced that movie in several games, so it’s not just a stretch!
Pokemon hunters blocked highways en mass, drivers slammed on their brakes for Pikachu, and the Islamic State of Iraq took responsibility for “Pokémon Go’s server issues.” The common thread between these and many other tragic stories? They’re fake! Penned by sites like Cartel Press, these hoaxes got viral clickbait levels of internet attention. So next time you see any awful news story related to Pokemon Go, do a quick search first before bothering your facebook friends with nonsense.
Pokemon Go isn’t officially out yet in Japan, but bureaucrats are already advertising safety warnings and procedures around the internet in order to beat the mad rush. It also covered warnings about fake apps, cheat tools, and the danger of people accidentally walking off train platforms. The safety instructions have a message to spread the word, especially to the younger audience, so hopefully we won’t be seeing any truly awful accidents from their news stations in the coming weeks after launch.
The AR function in the capture mode is being used to take strange and lewd pictures, from diglets coming out of crotches to magikarp censorship. The screencaps and images are not being logged by Niantic, so there’s no danger of them being leaked or found. Just be careful, and be ready for when you have to explain to your girlfriend why some other girl is sending you pictures of her Cloyster.
Landmarks in cities that get a large number of visitors are pretty much automatically chosen to be Gyms or Pokestops. Unsurprisingly, in areas like the Southern United States, most of those locations happen to be Churches. This is a strange twist, because in the last two decades, churches condemned the game for being satanic and evil. If you ask us, we just need to stock up on Pokeballs. It doesn’t matter where we go to do it.
… And sometimes, it really helps to be playing the game in public. U.S. Marines Seth Ortega and Javier Soch were at a park in Fullerton, California when the servers went down. While waiting for them to come back up, they noticed a man with a plastic red rose approaching several groups of people with children. They sprang into action, and the suspect was arrested and later discovered to have an outstanding warrant out for attempted murder.
The Westboro Baptist Church is one of those unlucky churches to have a gym on it’s property. After someone took over the gym with a low level Clefairy named “Love Is Love,” the church responded that it is in the process of training a Jigglypuff to take down the “Sodomite” Clefairy, and is using images of other iconic pokemon, photoshopped to push it’s hateful agenda. At this point, someone probably has a Gyarados holding the gym down against them.
When Pokémon Go players see a good Pokémon spawn on the map, everyone will start running toward it. Vine star Logan Paul took advantage of this phenomenon, calling out that he had seen a Dragonite in a crowded city park. Of course, a lot of people were at least miffed by the bad news, but it’s sort of their fault considering they trusted the yells of a stranger rather than their tracker in the app. But that’s what happens when you’re crazy for pokemon, right?
The White House and Senate buildings are both a Gym, and for whatever reason it is under constant contention. Players from all over the area come to try and take the top defender spot for their team, but ownership changes extremely quickly, usually only lasting for a handful of minutes. One of the first Pokemon holding the top spot in the Gym was a Blastoise, which had surprisingly lasted for a decent amount of time. One can only imagine that President Obama himself had owned the Blastoise, but of course it’s just speculation since he’s the coolest President we’ve had in office for a long time. We can dream though.
With Files from Richard Jellison