With Pokémon GO finally released in Ireland, and clearly set to take the world by storm, it might be time to have a little talk. In the immortal words of the Johto theme song, “Everybody wants to be a master!” Everyone who lived through the 90’s wants to catch ’em all. The problem is this drive to become a master can make you lose your common sense. In the past few weeks since GO‘s release, I’ve seen stories about robberies through Pokestop Lures, people walking into traffic, stampedes over rare catches and even one girl who found a corpse whilst looking for Pokémon.
The thing is, we all read these stories like “Ah damn, how could you be so stupid!” But after playing a bit myself, I can kind of understand why these things happened. I’ve seen perfectly sane, logical people crossing 3 lanes of traffic despite there being a crosswalk 5 metres away. The logic is always “Yeah, but I’d have to walk back to the pokémon!”
It’s time to wise up, people. Follow these tips, use your common sense, and remember: Eevee ain’t worth it!
Cars Are Dangerous
First things first! Remember back when you were 5, and your parents told you not to play in the street. That still counts when you’re 25! Seriously, I know it’s tempting to just rush over and check that tall grass, but come on! You’re literally risking your life to find a ratata! Even if you don’t live near a busy main road, pay attention to your surroundings. You never know when a car will come around the corner and you won’t be able to dodge. Same logic goes for walking into ditches, off of piers or into open graves.
On top of Pokémon being more fun with friends by your side, it’s also much safer. Strength in numbers very much applies here. I know, some people will hate me for saying that they can’t go outside alone, but this is common sense. Some pokémon can only be caught at night, and even if you live in the safest neighbourhood, nothing good happens after midnight. Remember, even Ash brought his friends along when catching pokémon, and Team Rocket is everywhere!
Avoid Dark Alleys
Most people know not to walk into dark alleys. Nothing good ever happens in dark alleys! The best case scenario is your nose being assaulted by the stench of urine. However, this tip can be applied to several situations. Is there a creepy graveyard near your house? Don’t go there! How about a deep scary forest? Don’t go there! If you wouldn’t go somewhere without the prospect of pokémon, probably best to use caution now. Never enter anywhere sketchy alone, no matter how many dratini’s are at stake!
For some reason, most pokestops seem to be spawning in churches and libraries, which could be great to help Irish mothers guilt their kids into attending mass or start studying. However, we sometimes forget that it might be a bit inappropriate to catch pokémon in these places. For example, finding a Koffing in the middle of an Auschwitz museum might be a tad bit messed up. Remember, that while the world is turning into a magical AR fuelled playground, there is still real world etiquette to consider. Always ensure that you are able to both enter and play the game in certain locations. As I’ve learned from personal experience, whilst it’s very tempting to catch the Horsea sitting in the middle of a schoolyard, it’s also very creepy to walk into that schoolyard waving your camera around.
So there we have it, trainers. Always keep your wits about you, and have a great adventure on your way to becoming a Pokémon master!