Thousands of young adults throughout the country are currently chasing imaginary creatures around parks and convenience stores because their smartphones tell them to do so. Meanwhile, the world burns.
If you’ve been near a computer screen or heard a news report in the past couple of days, then you’ve certainly heard of the Pokemon Go craze sweeping the nation. The game, Nintendo’s mobile revival of a popular children’s card game and cartoon from the late 1990s, requires the download of an “augmented reality” app that allows smartphone users to collect Pokemon characters using the phones camera.
Many of the game’s biggest fans are people in their mid- to late-20s, who remember the popular game from grade school and are on a bit of a nostalgia kick.
Here’s how it works.
Using the phone’s GPS capabilities, the game allows users to chase and catch Pokemon characters located in their area and then meet at landmarks like libraries and school campuses for duels between the characters they’ve collected.
Some folks are applauding the game as a way to encourage exercise and bring people together in the community.
As The Liberty Conservative noted:
Given the importance and significance of location, not only is Pokemon Go getting children and adults out of the house, it’s bringing them together in central locations and meeting other people with similar interests. It’s bringing people together at places of significance to the community, creating new social bonds and a larger sense of community.
There certainly isn’t anything wrong with enjoying a little mindless recreation time, especially if it involves exercise and community. But it all seems a little crazy, considering the sorry shape we find ourselves in right now.
And there are some folks concerned that the current Pokemon craze has more nefarious roots than meet the eye.
The developer of Pokémon Go, Niantic, Inc., was founded by John Hanke, who previously received funding from the CIA’s venture capital firm In-Q-Tel to develop what eventually became Google Earth.
In-Q-Tel was once described as an “independent strategic investment firm that identifies innovative technology solutions to support the missions of the U.S. Intelligence Community.”
It’s easy to see why the CIA would have an interest in the software behind Pokémon Go; the game utilizes the player’s camera and gyroscope to display an image of a Pokémon as though it were in the real world, such as the player’s apartment complex or workplace bathroom.
Software like that could theoretically turn millions of smartphone users into ‘Imperial probe droids’ who take real-time, ground-level footage of their cities and homes, reaching into dark alleyways and basements which spy satellites and Google cars can’t reach.
If that’s true, it’s a scary thought. Even if it’s not, it’s scary that we currently live in an age where it’s easy to get young adults out in public to chase imaginary monsters but not the real monsters all around us.
We’re currently observing a presidential election quickly boiling down to a choice between an insincere megalomaniac billionaire and a political dinosaur who’s clawed her way to the top by breaking any law that stands in her way.
Why aren’t young adults flooding libraries and coffee shops to discuss that— and maybe organize toward a better option.
There’s a growing global terror jihad that threatens not only conservative American values but also the progressive vision that many on the social justice front have for the nation.
Where are the massive gatherings to protest that?
The United States’ debt continues to snowball. So too does the student loan debt so many of the unemployed young adults currently chasing imaginary monsters will never be able to pay back.
These are all things that, no matter the specifics of political preference, Americans of any voting age should be discussing.
Leave the games to the kids.