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Pòkemon Go is ruining lives: Play at your own peril

My name is Ashton and I’ve now been clean for nine days.

It was the 6th of July when Pòkemon Go was released in New Zealand, Australia and the United States, and since then the world has gone completely mad. Some would even call it an aPòkelypse.

I’ve refrained from downloading the app, as I’ve seen what it has done to my colleagues, friends and family. Having the app is quite literally like having a Mankey (get it?) on your back – if people thought society had relationship issues with their phones before, Pòkemon Go has taken it to a whole new level.

Sure, the game is having the effect of luring once beached gamers outside into the real world (promoting Vitamin-D) where they’re encouraged to pursue and catch digital monsters (promoting exercise). But that’s where the positives stop.

Chorus recently released research that shows we are among the highest users of data in the world. Pòkemon Go is certainly not going to help that fact.

Think about it. The app requires your phone to be constantly checking and transmitting your location via GPS, and the very nature of the game means that more often than not – being outside in the great outdoors and all – you’ll be using a cellular connection rather than WiFi.

And this isn’t to mention the massive toll it takes on your battery life. Since my colleagues have become addicted, the office has become a chaotic cacophony of low battery notifications and desperate dashes for charging mechanisms.

The gargantuan influx of Pòkemon trainers has put huge pressure on the game’s servers, which have already collapsed several times, leaving gamers flummoxed and frustrated.

Parents around the world have expressed their concerns about kids being glued to digital screens for years. “Back in my day the only screens we had were windows,” or “Keep staring at that and you will turn square-eyed,” etc. Pòkemon Go has taken it a step further – to put it in perspective, people’s eyes are now turning into octagons, pentagons and other crazy shapes like that.

And the worst thing is, it’s not just kids – walk around anywhere in town and you will see people ranging from ages 10 – 100 attempting to hatch their eggs and “catch em’ all”. Statistics show the app has become more popular than both Twitter and Tinder, indicating that it has feasibly become more important than sex. Below is a photo of a husband trying to sneakily catch a Pidgey while his wife is in labour.

Cars, unsavoury neighbourhoods and reputations are all irrelevant when it comes to catching Squirtle, Charmander or the extremely rare Mewtwo down the road – if you’re the victim of a car accident, mugging or mocking, at least you went down without a fight right? If only Pokemon battles meant something in real life.

ACC and Auckland Transport have both already issued warnings for players of the game, as various minor injuries have been reported because of blissfully unaware Pòkemon trainers with their octagonal-eyes glued to their phones.

Nine clean days have passed for me and I can assure you that total will continue to grow – just like the Bulbasaurs, Eevees and Zubats on millions of peoples’ phones worldwide.

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