Augmented Reality?

I just read the craziest story about a young man who was stabbed while playing Pokémon Go.  I had heard of the game and seen pictures posted on social media, but really didn’t think much about it until I read that he continued playing, despite the stab wound to his shoulder, which required eight stitches.

Interesting number: eight—the number of new beginnings.  But I don’t think this is a good beginning at all.  This game represents a new trend in apps called augmented reality, in which your phone or tablet superimposes a computer-generated image on your view of the real world, resulting in a composite view: imaginary people or objects in your real world view.  I think this may become the thing that saves Google Glass, which hasn’t caught on at all so far.  Probably people just found it too creepy, the idea that they could be recorded by someone wearing Google Glass just because they were having a conversation while the other person wore it.

Google Glass at least gives the illusion that you’re talking face-to-face with a human being instead of both parties, heads down, gazing into their phones, as seen daily in almost every public setting where free Wi-Fi is available.  Thinking about Google Glass reminds me of the first time I was talking with someone wearing a Bluetooth earpiece.  In the middle of a sentence his eyes glazed over as he began talking about something way off topic.  It had taken me a moment to realize that he had just answered the phone that had vibrated in his pocket.  Me?  I’m old school.  I refused to get the call waiting feature until it ceased to be optional.  I still refuse to interrupt one call for the sake of another.  Perhaps I would if I were waiting for an important call, but so far I’ve never had that happen.  But I digress . . .

There was another young man in the news who was playing Pokémon Go while driving and plowed into a tree.  He was badly hurt, but lucky to be alive.  There was also a fifteen-year-old girl that walked into traffic and got hit by a car while playing (she and her mother blame the game, not her inattention).  Another fifteen-year-old was killed trespassing on private property while playing.  And two men climbed over a fence and fell off a cliff while playing.  The problem is that the game is highly addictive—but you had guessed that when you read that the young man had continued playing instead of going to the hospital, right?

Personally, I have no interest in Pokémon.  My younger son used to be into the Pokémon cartoons and collected the cards, but it was an interest that thankfully passed.  However, I do understand game addiction.  I was highly addicted to Solitaire, then Mahjong, Tetris, and Bomberman when they came out, and more recently, Candy Crush.  In fact, I had to take Candy Crush off my phone because I had stopped participating in my half of conversations with live people in the same room (thank God I had to come up for air and recharge the phone a couple of times a day).  So don’t think that I don’t understand game addiction.  It’s something I still wrestle with.  It’s funny, I smoked off and on through high school and college, and never got hooked on cigarettes, but these maze and matching games—yikes!  But I digress . . .

So there’s the addiction aspect that’s very troubling about Pokémon Go.  In fact, here’s an indicator for how addictive Pokémon Go is: it has surpassed pornography as the thing most searched on Google.  And I can personally attest to that.  Today I searched Pokémon Go something like half a dozen times on Google, and pornography zero times.  Of course, yesterday and all the days of my life up to the present, both were zero.  I can imagine that in the future, I might search Pokémon Go again for a future post, and pornography will remain at zero—I don’t need those images in my mind.

But that brings to mind another story I read, about a pedophile that used Pokemon Go to lure teenage victims.  There was also a gang that used the game to lure victims and rob them.  Although the game’s loading screen warns the player to stay alert about their surroundings, it’s obviously not safe to go walking around hunting for imaginary creatures by looking for them with your phone.

The mingling of the virtual world in our real world setting is also troubling.  People are hunting and catching monsters—how long before demons begin manifesting as Pokémon characters (if they haven’t already)?  There are demonic aspects to these cartoon monsters, after all.  Pikachu, for example, is mostly shown as a sort of cute little yellow bunny or mouse.  But you’ve got to be careful around Pikachu.  He’s got a nasty temper and the ability to throw lightning bolts.  Plus, the creator of Pokémon, Satoshi Tajiri, said that he came up with Pokémon as a way to rebel against his parents’ Christianity[1].  Tajiri admits that Pokemon is a satanic creation, so demonic manifestations are sure to happen in conjunction with this game.

Christians, it would be foolish to play or to allow your children to play this game.  This game has only been out for nine days as of this writing.  How many more people will be stabbed, robbed, lured by pedophiles, hit by cars, etc.?  God is good, and He gave you a brain.  Please use it.

[1] You can read the full article here: Pokémon Creator Admits Games are Anti-Christian, Aimed Towards Satanists.

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