If you have caught on to the latest craze, you have likely downloaded the new Pokémon Go app. The game takes players all over in hopes of catching the most virtual creatures they can. This “augmented reality” causes such Pokémon to digitally appear live in view on a user’s smartphone camera. The catch is that players are continuously drawn to different locations in order to, ironically enough, catch ‘em all and ultimately succeed in the game.
The game is uniquely interactive and increasingly popular. But if this concept is truly the future of gaming, there are plenty of safety concerns to consider. When walking around (be it late at night or earlier in the day), it’s important to remain alert at all times. Be aware of your surroundings. The game on the screen may appear real, but the unfortunate reality is that predators are on the lookout for those completely distracted and consumed by the game to take advantage of. The game’s GPS tracking access also opens the possibility of players getting lured to dangerous locations while on the hunt, if they aren’t careful enough. The sharing of information could also lead to potential breaches of cyber security.
The safety concerns continue when walking around. Players should be careful not to accidentally injure themselves or anyone else. And while the game’s quest to find that coveted Pikachu and more may require travel, it’s important not to play when driving from point A to point B. Much like texting and driving, accessing the app at the same time could lead to fatal disaster.
Of course, the game’s popularity can lead to benefits if played in an appropriate and safe manner as well. Local businesses have been cashing in with customer-friendly deals, upon realizing their locations are hot beds for popular Pokémon. Instead of turning players away, the smarter business owners have embraced the potential impact the game can have on their profit. They can even pay a small fee to specifically ensure their domain becomes a popular place in the game, luring potential customers in at the same time. Regardless of what gets them through the door, they are more likely to make a purchase once they have arrived. In most cases, this also provides players with a safer location to participate than a random dark alley-way late at night.
Either way, it’s important to have an idea of how this new game can positively and negatively impact you both personally and professionally. Be safe, be aware, and be prepared to benefit.