Mark My Words – Have fun, but play safe

Have you come across Zubat, Gastly, Bellsprout, Rattata, Caterpie, Spearow, Squirtle or Pikachu in your neighborhood? No, they aren’t types of weeds in your yard or new types of insects. Have you seen any in a tree, possibly by your mailbox or relaxing on your patio?

Maybe you are asking yourself, “what in the world is he talking about?”

I was a little concerned that I would not get this article done by the deadline as it would be cutting into my “Pokémon Go” time.

Does that help?

All joking aside, this whole Pokémon Go fad does not excite me in the least. I was not into Pokémon back in 1996 when it was released as a Nintendo game, nor did I ever own or trade any of the Pokémon trading cards that came out in 1999. Many of my students bring them to school, so they must still be going strong, which should show you how much I know about it all.

With that said, I certainly do not begrudge anyone who is taking to the streets to play this game and those that are enjoying it. I see the benefits as it is getting people out of the house and actually walking around, exercising and even meeting new people along the way. The best, people are having fun, which in the end, that is what is important!

But then again, it keeps people attached to their electronics, which, as we know, is not always a good thing!

I can’t tell you what you are supposed to do or what happens when you capture creatures or even, what the end game is, but, hey, enjoy yourselves, kids … and adults.

While I don’t have exact numbers, it has been said that up to 9.5 million people are playing Pokémon Go in the United States. Considering just about everyone has a cell phone these days, you aren’t alone, by a long shot, if you aren’t playing. So breathe that collective sigh of relief!

There has been some backlash with this latest phenomenon. Several facilities like cemeteries and VA communities have banned people from playing on their property. I get that and I hope those playing understand that and respect the wishes of such groups.

Employers, such as Boeing, are banning the game at work, as employees are playing on the clock and one employee almost getting hurt while playing at work. I am sure there will be many more following suit. I can only imagine what will be happening in schools this fall!

Of course, there have been stories of people getting in accidents because they are playing while driving, getting robbed or attacked out in public while playing and the list goes on and on. So play at your own risk and walk around in groups! Have fun, but be safe!

I highly doubt I will get roped into this latest craze as I really do not feel an urge to do it and it seems like too much physical activity (that is a joke … kind of).

But then again, I said I would never replace my cassette tapes with CD’s, I would never become a “texter,” I would never use Facebook to play games and I would NEVER EVER become addicted to Candy Crush and I would never, regardless of the circumstances, ever root for the Chicago Cubs.

I hope I can keep my strong resolve to refrain from playing Pokémon Go as I have not rooting for the Cubs. As for the other things I said I would never do, well, I am weak, what can I say.

Oh, and gamers, stay off of my lawn!

Submitted by Mark McGlothlen

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