While this is a guide to the worst Pokemon dangers you never even considered (and yeah, we’re being serious), we do recognize that the mobile game has been great for kids and adults alike to get active, moving, and beyond computer screens.
Special reporting by Aly Walansky and Bryce Gruber.
1. Safety. You are roaming in random circles, not paying attention to your surroundings. How many people will walk into the middle of the street and be hit by an oncoming vehicle? Or, perhaps, just walk into a tree, or a wall, or another person who gets PISSED and then beats them up? Lots. And while you are at it, you, my friend, are completely disrespecting property. People are chasing digital demons and cuddlies into REAL areas of importance. Houses of worship, national monuments. Schools. Police stations. Why are people going into the HOLOCAUST MUSEUM searching for Pokémon? Here’s a good example of the worst Pokemon players bringing their games into a synagogue’s mikvah, a holy and spiritual place for observant Jewish women. Unless there’s suddenly a Moses-inspired Pikachu, the answer is a solid and resounding, “no.”
2. And that includes businesses who want actual paying customers. Sure, it’s great if your Pokémon chasing brings you into a local café and you BUY something. Businesses are all about attracting new customers, heck we’re totally in support of a vibrant American economy because bills, bills, bills– but a lot of you are not going into your local Dairy Queen and buying a blizzard, or even a small soft serve. Instead, you are chasing your Pikachu – taking up space that would belong to paying customers! – and not buying a thing. And science says that’s just bad manners. Dairy Queen is just one business (so far!) that is banning Pokémon in their store until or unless you buy something. We are totally not kidding.
3. Crime. There were people ROBBED in St. Louis after criminals used the app to lure people to an isolated area. This will just happen more and more in worse and worse ways, like one of the popular Pokestops being the entrance to Rikers. These Pokémon hunts are luring you into all sorts of places, and some of them are going to be scary, isolated ones you shouldn’t be. Also, want to be the best mark ever for someone who wants to rob, kidnap, or murder you? Well, go ahead and look like a lost fool in your own neighborhood – which is precisely how everyone playing this game appears. Crime is the worst Pokemon outcome so far, we say.
4. Sexual assault is the next worst Pokemon frontier, and it’s something to be considered. Beyond the sort of ‘normal’ crimes of theft and burglary, luring strangers into catching your cute and cuddle Pikachu is basically the beginning of the next season of Law & Order SVU. Seriously, when the new season begins as the mercury drops, do not be surprised when it turns out we totally predicted the opening plot line. Location based game apps are basically a dream come true for creepy old men lurking in bushes just waiting for innocent kids. Turns out it’s already happened in Atlanta.
READ MORE: Realistically-Portrayed Pokemon Animals
5. Bad behavior. As if we did not ALREADY address that above, you are playing while you drive. While you walk into traffic. While you are at the subway standing too close to the ledge. While you should be paying attention at work. In school. To your kids. To your spouse. EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS GAME IS ENCOURAGING TERRIBLE BEHAVIOR. While we are aware of some specific instances of parent-child bonding over this game, and some autistic children responding well to it, the vast majority of adults have lost their damn minds. If you’re one of the good ones, we applaud you. If you’re one of the worst Pokemon offenders out there, sigh.
6. Privacy? What’s that? The app gives developers access to EVERYTHING on your Google account – that’s your emails, documents, calendar, drive. Everything. Even your photos and search history! The developers aren’t even trying to hide it. It’s not too late to remedy the situation: Go RIGHT NOW to your My Account” Google page, choose “Connected Apps and Sites,” then click on “Manage Apps.” From there, click on the Pokémon app, and select “Remove Access.” Whew. Is anyone else starting to think this game was sponsored by our government? Or Putin? Or ISIS? Or maybe all of them sitting around at a table, twiddling their thumbs, laughing at us lemmings?
7. Speaking of lemmings, people are dying from playing this game. Literally people are falling off cliffs, like actual lemmings, thanks to searching for Pikachus. Two men just died by way of unintentional cliff diving in California, people are finding dead bodies left and right, and in general we’re just making the terrorists sit back in their caves and giggle. Who needs to buy weapons and bombs if we all just fall off cliffs on our own? It’s cheaper this way.
8. Your phone battery will die at warp speed. Everyone cries about how much data and battery life the rest of our social media uses. Just wait till you see what this game does. NOT TO MENTION TO YOUR BATTERY. So when you end up in an isolated park because you were trying to find Pikachu, you won’t even be able to call for help. According to a PokemonGo related battery review at CNET, “one of our staffers burned through 45 percent of an iPhone 6S’s battery in 30 minutes on a different, uncontrolled run, and my personal Galaxy S7 no longer lasts a full work day if I play any Pokemon at all.”
9. Pokeporn. There’s nothing like a children’s cartoon-themed augmented reality app to make people REALLY into anime porn. This guy has characters popping up on his crotch (yay for screenshots?), and there are thousands more like him out there. While this isn’t a danger or issue per se, we’d like to loop this right back to the issue of potential sexual assault. You can now see just how easy it may be.
10. And of course, nudes are now a thing too. Because what’s a Pikachu if you can’t turn it into a schlong-related pic? This is why we can’t have anything nice, America. DO NOT CLICK HERE UNLESS YOU’RE AN ADULT AND HAVEN’T EATEN LUNCH.
BUT WORST OF ALL… Socializing is now no longer a thing people do, but rather A COMPONENT OF AN AUGMENTED DIGITAL NON-REALITY. People are saying how this game is SO great because it leads to people going outside, and being outside with other people. But how? There’s no social awareness. We’re operating as zombies staring down at their phones, concentrating on digital beasts rather than actual other humans in the real world. We had that already. This is not a step forward, but one way way back. It’s just every single one of you is a sheep and refuses to see it. Wouldn’t it be crazy fun if people stepped into a real reality this summer by doing something so vintage and crazy like going to the beach, running through a sprinkler, or barbecuing something? …You know, with other actual humans. Or dogs. Or just anything that actually has a pulse.