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Thursday, July 7, 2016

If you go get Pokémon GO, Be Safe!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - And don't try to capture our logo.

We knew from E3 2016 in the DISASTROUSLY BORING Pokémon GO Q&A Session that the mobile application would be coming out in July. But is it just me, or was its release really...sudden? Poof! It just appeared worldwide for download and suddenly social media has a lot of alternate-reality pictures of Generation 1 Pokémon.

And, unfortunately, it is only the original 151 Pokémon. The game is marketed towards GenWunners.

Pokémon GO Squirtle starter catch KoopaTV
Hey... Try catching the Squirtle, not the “a” in our logo!

Yet, despite this all-of-a-sudden release schedule, everyone knows about it. I've had someone who knows absolutely nothing about games come up to me just today, in-person, and say, “Hey, did you know about the new Pokémon game out now on Android and iOS? Too bad you don't have a smartphone!”

...And I know they have no idea what they're talking about (well, the lack of ownership of a smartphone is spot-on) because they totally jumbled up how to pronounce Pokémon.

Anyway, the game is out now. You can download it. I heard the servers are terrible. But if you do manage to succeed, you can walk to all the museums and other PokéStops you want. These apparently include police stations, which I hear don't want you actually going inside. Another source tells me that PokéStops regenerate their goodies every five minutes. Players are incentivised to walk back-and-forth between two close-enough PokéStops to “farm” whatever they give out.

That, of course, is called trespassing and loitering. You may be in unsafe situations. So, let's review some safety tips provided by the official site. But... first, rewatch the opening trailer and tell yourself you're an idiot if you thought the final product would be anything like this. (Fortunately for my self-esteem, I always knew not to trust this trailer.)



SAFETY TIP #1:

For safety's sake, never play Pokémon GO when you're on your bike, driving a car, riding a hoverboard, or anything else where you should be paying attention, and of course never wander away from your parents or your group to catch a Pokémon.” 
Good ideas all around. One of my criticisms of how people use smartphones is that you're totally tuned out. And then you get ran over by something 'cause you're not watching. With augmented reality, you're not only tuned out of the world, but you're immersed in a totally parallel, engrossing one that really looks like the one you're in... with some crucial details changed.

It's those details that could get you killed.

Also, a hoverboard? Well, I guess those are important enough to make a warning about, though you shouldn't be riding those in general. Somehow, Europe prefers hoverboards over jet packs.

SAFETY TIP #2:

“If you see a Pokémon someplace where it might not be safe to capture it (like in a construction site or on private property that you can't get to from the street), don't do it. There will always be another chance to catch that Pokémon later on!”
Are you... 100% positive there will always be another chance?

Again, good advice. It's not worth risking your physical life over worthless mobile trash data. That said, what if that chance puts you in another unsafe place? And maybe all of the places around you are unsafe?

That aside, telling people there is another chance is a somewhat decent way of slowing down people's progress yet telling them they shouldn't quit the game early. You know, like everyone did with Miitomo. (Anyone still use that? No?)

SAFETY TIP #3:

“If you can't get to the PokéStop because it's on private property, there will be more just around the corner, so don't worry!”
Niantic and The Pokémon Company International are guaranteeing there are many PokéStops within “around the corner” distance of one another. Let me know if they're lying or not in the comments section.

That said, if you happen to live/reside in that private property, you're more-or-less all set, aren't you? So much for walking. Competitive GO-ers are gonna move and relocate so they live in PokéStops.

SAFETY TIP #4:

“Remember that team members may not be your real-life friends, so be careful with what you tell them about yourself.”
BUT, what if your team members may BECOME your so-called “real-life friends”? A stranger is a friend you don't know yet, after all. (Or, in the likely case for me, an enemy.)

Pokémon GO male trainer art confidential Niantic official artwork concept public level up
They want your trainer's information to be CONFIDENTIAL.
(Notice the CONFIDENTIAL markings on the trainer artwork.
If the webmaster worked for the government and distributed that confidential-marked art, they'd go to prison. Unlike, say, Hillary Clinton.)

If you haven't picked up on this yet, and I haven't ranted about this yet on KoopaTV so it's okay if you haven't, but I detest the term “real-life.” It especially doesn't make much sense for a game all about walking around and meeting people (whenever they bother implementing battling and trading functionality), potentially new friends.

SAFETY TIP #5:

“Always be careful when taking a photo to make sure everyone in the photo is OK with having their picture taken and that there's nothing personal in the photo you don't want to share.”
This is less of a personal physical safety tip, and more of a legal one.

You also want to make sure that photos are appropriate. Don't take pictures of anyone without, say, clothes on. No revenge porn with a naked woman and some Krabby in her private parts. ...Or same with a guy and a Weedle or something.

Brock Pokémon anime Weedle crotch
Bad enough.

That's all of the safety tips the website provides. Unfortunately, perhaps the most dangerous part of the official website has no safety tips. That would be the In-App Purchases section.

I don't know about the game's economy and what are common items and what are things you need to buy to get any good quantity of. But, what I can tell you, is that I know the game is designed in a way that you'll want to spend money for some reason at some point. Or else they wouldn't make it. And you'll be poor from it.

Sure, they say the game is “loads of fun” (I'm not sure if that's true), and in-app purchases are just to “enhance the experience.” But the game is going to eventually have battling and stuff, and the teams and gyms are going to eventually leave it as a player vs. player or team vs. team experience.

And you know those folks will be Wailords in their spending to pay to win, however they can.

Squirtle KoopaTV Pokémon GO augmented reality starter catch arrow throw Poké Ball
You're still here?! Stop loitering our site! Read an article, why-don't-ya?


If you have the app, go and respond to all of Ludwig's prompts he gave for comments section discussion material throughout the article. And include some of your own! ...If you don't have the app, then comment some snarky stuff anyway. KoopaTV does not guarantee that you will find Squirtle by browsing our website, as thematic as it is. Those pictures taken by KoopaTV staffer RawkHawk2010.


Herman Cain has his own warning for Pokémon GO players!

12 comments :

  1. Another good tip: do not play this at night. It can lead you into some dangerous places.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NDvxOmlDgA&lc

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But the best time for in-app purchases are early morning and the evening after work!
      http://marketingland.com/surprise-in-app-purchase-behavior-peaks-before-the-workday-even-starts-study-128705

      (And the early morning may be really dark, depending on the time of year.)

      They ain't gonna act against their own profit. :o

      Delete
    2. One more tip I forgot to mention earlier: Do not, and I repeat, do not play this at work unless you plan on searching far and wide for employment. http://imgur.com/MbNRSd4

      Delete
    3. Yeah, Niantic wants you to be employed so you can funnel that money as IAP!

      Delete
  2. I might be getting a iPhone this Sunday. Which means I might be getting this game after all. I do wish they will eventually update for gen 2 Pokemon. I want a Girafarig.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An iPhone? No no no no don't do it.

      Delete
    2. Yes I will do it. You can't stop me.

      Delete
    3. Why not an Android-based thing, if you have to get a smartphone?

      Delete
    4. My sis had an android.

      I still play real games, so don't worry. I brought my 3DS to work today and finished up Oracle of Ages.

      Delete
    5. ...Had?

      Wait, you brought your 3DS to work today and finished a game there? Maybe that's why they tried to fire you...?

      Delete
    6. Nope. I only brought it twice when I was there including today.

      They tried to fire me for "ranting and raving" and that phrase will stay in my head for the rest of my life.

      Delete
    7. I've brought my 3DS. Haven't actually played it, but I did use it for music in those rare instances where I had menial labour I was tasked with and it wasn't on or near the computer.
      (As opposed to resting and relaxing...)

      Delete

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