Well the world has gone Pokémon Go crazy. Over the last week I have seen people raving about how good this is, others saying it’s ridiculous and yet others decrying the spiritual deception and lamenting how sad to see how quickly Christians have jumped in.
So here is what I think. It’s really my rambling thoughts. Read ahead if you want to.
First up a little intro to Pokémon Go for those who have no idea what I am talking about. (Source: Daily Telegraph Saturday 16th July 2016)
What is Pokémon Go?
The Pokémon computer game was released on a Nintendo Game Boy in the 1990’s and it is a contraction of Pocket Monsters.
Pokémon Go was created by Google spin off Niantic and was released in limited countries, including Australia last week.
How to Play?
Players must collect all 151 Pokémon characters using a smartphone screen.
The characters are caught by being hit with a Poke Ball.
Users are encouraged to leave their homes to find Pokémon and to visit real locations such as churches and parks designated as PokeStops.
PokeGyms are where monsters can be trained and battle.
If you want to hatch a Pokémon egg you have to walk, sometimes as far as 10kms.
Different types of Pokémon are more common to specific areas. For example water type characters often appear near water courses.
More valuable Pokémon appear as you climb up levels.
Hard to find Pokémon can be placated if you throw a Razz Berry their way.
Now my thoughts:
Here are some of the positives that I have read:
“It gets people out of the house and walking in the fresh air so it has to be good”….but then so does a house fire, so um sure let’s agree this is a probable positive.
Apparently the instructions around how to play the game are a little scant and so this forces people at Pokémon Go to go to hot spots to talk to each other. I assume this is a good thing and I can’t wait to hear of the first Pokémon Go induced wedding. On the other hand some Pokies (my term for Pokémon Go players) were held up at gunpoint in America so talking with people isn’t always a positive thing….Mind you it’s America….the home of 300 million people and 380 million Guns. Whoops I digress. I have to admit Pokémon Go has got to be a better app than Tinder. Tinder doesn’t really get people talking though does it?
Some churches in Sydney have registered their church venues as Portals and are offering free food and free phone charge…..People are turning up in droves….If we marry this will the previous point….where they then talk to real people….this could be good. Potentially a Red Frogs opportunity. Go the Frogs.
Another observation I saw, was a young lady in Melbourne saying that the Pokies at lunch gave the city a real communal feel and she observed it shows how much people crave a shared experience. Certainly this is an interesting observation. In a world of hyper connectivity, the stats are showing we are one of the loneliest generations ever. Maybe Pokies will make actual friends as they play…Although as I walked through what can only be described as a Pokémon nest (I think the correct term is Pokestop) at Southbank in Brisbane on Sunday (see Pic), I must admit there was not a lot of talking happening.
I also heard that a woman in the US chasing a Pokémon found a dead body….so crimes are being discovered and possibly solved due to the game so this has to be a positive. Forget CSI it’s now PSI….Pokémon Scene Investigation.
One comment I read on social media is that Google searches for Pokémon and Pokémon Go has overtaken searches for porn. This has to be a good thing unless the searches are for “Pikachu nude” (this is a Pokémon name for the uninitiated). Although I had to smile when I picked this name as isn’t porn someone taking a Pikachu (peak at you).
What else could be good about this?
Hey here is a radical thought: People are having fun. Good for them…Not my idea of fun as I prefer a ZX14, an open road and all highway patrol on strike in some random industrial dispute.
So what’s bad about Pokémon Go.
Well I read a blog that said that a high ranking witch doctor now a Christian from the Amazon jungle had identified a lot of the demons he worked with as he ‘ate the souls of children’ as the now popular Pokémon characters…..Now I have to say I have plenty of theological issues with the concept of ‘eating the souls of children’. There is no biblical evidence of any such thing which leads me to be deeply dubious. I also have to say that just because you read something on the internet doesn’t make it real…cue gasp. Let’s get deep and very real for a moment. I actually am intensely spiritually sensitive to the dark side. I was in a movie recently when they played the trailer for The Conjuring. I have to say the demons climbing all over that movie was off the Richter scale. I actually get no spiritually negative discernment from the whole Pokémon Go. I rang a Pastor friend of mine who specialises in people leaving the occult to see what they thought of Pokémon….They made the comment that they didn’t pick up anything particularly demonic about the current craze. Now this is my opinion and I might be wrong.
I did read a comment that said ‘What a tragic example of how people can be so easily socially engineered.’ This is an interesting comment. I have always hated following the crowd. It took me years to get on social media as I didn’t want to follow the crowd. Whilst millions rush the App Store for Pokémon Go and that is not a big social deal…..what if something became super popular that had deeper sinister undertones? Do we as individuals stop and think? Yeah let me explain the concept of thinking….You have a brain and you can do something other than what social convention tells you…You….can…..do….what…..ever….you …want…..regardless of what everyone else is doing. (Mic drop moment). Do we ask rational questions?….or does our need to be part of the “shared experience” cause us to capitulate our individuality and possibly even our rationality? Is this what happened in NAZI Germany? (Relax I am not saying Playing Pokémon is the same as being a NAZI….the comment is about social engineering or possibly even social conditioning). Was George Orwell a Novelist or a Prophet when he wrote the book 1984? (if you haven’t read it, after you find enough Pokémon, download it and listen to it). To be really honest…this is where my greatest concern about Pokémon Go is. If my daughter doesn’t become a pokie, is she socially isolated? Is this a form of digital racism? Or digital religious vilification? Let’s invent a term:-Pokefication? Or does it mean she is a freedom thinker? We all have experienced the power of peer pressure…..Remember when your mother used to scream at you….If little Jimmy jumped over a cliff, would you too? Well clearly yes Mum I would….In fact two young men in California fell over a cliff looking for Pokémon.
I took my family to Queen the Rock Musical at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. It’s an interesting statement on conformity and the internet age. The Musical is set on iplanet where GlobalSoft Corporation runs the world and every experience has to be downloaded.There are a band of rebels called Bohemians:- Free thinkers who fail to conform to the downloadable and electronically manipulated world. I would suggest the Bohemians would not play Pokémon Go. (They would however sing a related Queen song about it).
Another negative is that Pokémon Go caused a stampede in New York’s central Park…. Really? Are we that passionate about pixels on our smart phone screen?
My final negative comes from this comment.
Sure, I read my phone in public but I will certainly not be wasting time chasing silly little digital images on behalf of CIA-linked data gathering companies
So apparently the CIA are using Pokémon Go to collect data on us all. Russia is so paranoid that Putin is considering banning the app because of its CIA links. Well here is what I think….If the CIA want to know that this morning I woke up in a motel near the Storey Bridge Brisbane, I then drove to Christian Heritage College and met with some staff, I had lunch with Suellen Holmes at Rivers Cafe and then I drove home speaking on the phone (hands free) to Phil Campbell and Lynley Nielsen, then all they need to do is just ask and I will tell them? Seriously though I am not sure that the CIA thing is real but reality is the more we live our lives on line the less privacy we have….I walked into the Robina Town Centre the other day and Trip Advisor appeared on my phone offering to rate the cafes in the centre…..If you want privacy…turn your phone off.
So there it is….My opinion on Pokémon Go. Let me provide a summary. If you want to play it great. If you don’t great.
Anyway, that’s what I think.
Ps Peter Pilt
If this Blog has been helpful, informative, or inspirational to you, please feel free to share it on Facebook or Twitter. Email Subscriptions to my blog are welcome or you can contact me through Facebook (facebook.com/peter.pilt5), Twitter (@PeterPilt) or Insta (@PeterPilt). Have a great day.
My Top Ten Most Popular Blogs Are:
- Exposing Nimble: Dumb Little Loans Deceptive Little Company
- Today the World was Outraged by the Wrong Thing: The Mitchell Pearce Incident
- Top 20 Creative Sermon Titles and Illustrations From Peter Pilt
- Compelling Evidence of the Authenticity of the Bible.
- Social Media: Is it Positive or Negative for a Person’s Spiritual Journey
- Is it OK to Eat Red Meat on Good Friday?
- Powerful Meditation on Ezekiel 37, The Valley of Dry Bones
- 44 Powerful Emotive Australian Photos
- Peter Pilt’s Seven Thoughts on the Sydney Siege
- 39 Powerful and Thought Provoking Questions