Pokémon Go: Top 3 Pros and Cons
With more than 21 million daily active users in the United States in its first week, Pokémon Go has become the most popular US mobile game ever. It has surpassed social media apps such as WhatsApp, Instagram, and Twitter for daily use on Android devices.   The basic premise of the game is that players try to capture Pokémon in a kind of scavenger hunt that uses the GPS on their mobile phones while walking around in the real world. The game’s slogan is “Gotta catch ’em all.” 
Some players have gotten a lot of exercise, explored new parts of their communities, and made new friends. Others have injured themselves while walking distracted, played in inappropriate places, and been targeted by criminals. We present some of the pros and cons in the debate over whether Pokémon Go is good or bad for our society.
Is Pokémon Go Good for Our Society?
There are mental and physical health benefits from playing the game.
Walking around is necessary to play the game, and users are getting physical health benefits from the exercise.  One user told BuzzFeed, “I have struggled with motivation and energy since I was 9, when I developed severe depression… But as soon as I got Pokémon Go I was able to leave the house, and I walked outside for hours and suddenly found myself enjoying it. I had the instant rush of dopamine whenever I caught a Pokémon, and I wanted to keep going. Then today and yesterday I purposely put myself in social situations, going to the mall, just to play.” Read More
The game is bringing people together and creating a sense of community.
By exploring their communities and sharing information about where to find creatures, players are interacting with strangers. One player wrote on Twitter about a late night experience during which he befriended two other players of a different race and age group. While they were talking, they were approached by a police officer. After they explained the game to him, the officer also started playing.  “[O]verall, this is a positive moment, a moment of real community and good feelings all thanks to a mobile game and some adorable Pokémon,” wrote Erik Kain, Forbes contributor. Read More
The game is a boon to local businesses.
As people explore their towns while playing the app, they are discovering new bars, shops, restaurants, and more. This increase in foot traffic is boosting up businesses. “With Pokémon Go, businesses have an unprecedented opportunity to create strong emotional bonds with new customers, and for very little money,” wrote business expert Walter Chen.  Some stores around the country have reported an increase in sales between 5 and 30 percent. Read More
Playing the game can lead to injury.
News reports say that users have tripped, fallen into a lake, crashed a car, and sustained other injuries while playing.   The National Safety Council released a statement urging people to be more cautious while using Pokémon Go, saying in part, “Reports of close calls associated with playing Pokémon Go already are rolling in. The Council urges gamers to consider safety over their scores before a life is lost. No race to ‘capture’ a cartoon monster is worth a life.” Read More
People are playing the game in inappropriate places.
In their quest to capture creatures, players are failing to respect their surroundings. Arlington National Cemetery released a statement saying, “Out of respect for all those interred at Arlington National Cemetery, we require the highest level of decorum from our guests and visitors. Playing games such as Pokémon Go on these hallowed grounds would not be deemed appropriate.”  The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has also asked visitors to stop catching Pokémon on site.  The 9/11 Memorial in New York City is also inundated with players. “A lot of people died here. It’s a place to reflect, not to play a game,” a visitor told TIME magazine. Read More
Criminals are targeting distracted users, leaving players susceptible to crime.
Four teens in Missouri were arrested on suspicion of committing at least 10 armed robberies by using the app to lure users to a specific location.  A police department in Philadelphia warned on Twitter, “Be mindful on what you play online, A String of armed robberies perpetrated by suspects who targeted their victims using Pokémon Go.” Read More