Pokémon Go: The end of an era?

Illustration by Ed Appleby
Illustration by Ed Appleby

Game release has profound effect on our world

By Davie Wong, Sports Editor

It’s been nearly a month since the release of Pokémon Go took North America by storm. The rest of the western world has subsequently fallen deeply in love with the mobile game, in a movement that scientists are calling the “Poké-craze.” Each day, thousands of people are leaving their positions in the working world to pursue their dreams of becoming a Pokémon master.

While some call the trend crazy, there are those who fully believe in their right to follow their dreams. In an interview with various media outlets, Lance En, a former accountant and current self-proclaimed Pokémon master, spoke up to defend the decisions of his fellow trainers. “Our dream is perfectly reasonable. We simply want to be the very best, like no one ever was.” When asked if he and his fellow trainers had an end goal to their dream, he shrugged his shoulders and replied, “To catch them all is our real test; to train them is our cause.”

Lance’s original journey started in New York City, but since then, he has traveled across the lands, searching far and wide for the strongest Pokémon, and recruiting others to his cause.

Unfortunately, that was all the time the media had to interview Lance, as mid-way through, we were interrupted by men in blue jumpsuits claiming to be the real masters of Pokémon. They mocked the crimson red colour of Lance’s outfit, calling the colour “unfit to exist.” As tensions rose, more men in both blue and red jumpsuits began to take their respective sides, filling the park where the interview was set up to near max capacity. The media teams, not wanting a part of the imminent conflict, donned their standard-issue yellow raincoats and were allowed to leave before conflict broke out between the two “real” teams. We watched from the outskirts as thousands of individuals stood across from one another, staring intensely at their mobile phones.

You would know when someone had lost and someone had won when there were cries of jubilation, followed by the sound of a body falling to the ground. The loser of the match was rendered unconscious due to the shock of actually losing, and had their precious Poké-coins stolen from them. It was complete and utter mayhem.

What happened there was just a small example of what has been breaking out across the western world. Representatives of the United States Department of Justice have gone on record saying that the new craze has caused more forms of gang-like activities since the prohibition era. And while governments around the world struggle to deal with this pandemic, Nintendo, the owners of the Pokémon franchise, and Niantic, the creators of Pokémon Go, have other issues to deal with.

A massive class-action law suit is on the way to the headquarters of the intrepid game designers. Parents all across Asia have united to sue Nintendo for the loss of their children. They claim that Nintendo is the mastermind behind a plot to lower the world’s population by reducing the number of children in Asia, and demand compensation for their lost children. The facts behind the claim paint a different picture.

Staggering their release dates to generate maximum amounts of hype, Niantic made Asia the last area on Earth to receive support for Pokémon Go. The plan resulted in a massive number of downloads on the day of release. As adults are forced to work in many Asian countries, the majority of the players on the first day were children. The effects were immediate. Within hours of release, reports of massive swarms of unsupervised children took over the airwaves of Asia.

Motor vehicle accidents have skyrocketed, as drivers struggle to remain on the road while avoiding collisions with children. The idea of brining all motor vehicle transportation to a halt was briefly considered by a number of countries before coming to the conclusion that the loss of money was not worth the potential loss of life. As the sun began to set in the eastern world, reports of children walking straight off cliffs began to steadily climb. “It’s as if they can’t see anything but their phones,” reported a disgruntled individual who looked to be playing the game as well.

As the sun rose the next morning, many parents were relieved to see their children arriving home. However, reports of missing children continue to climb, and search-and-rescue efforts are dwindling, as more and more mobile phones become dedicated to the craze that is Pokémon Go.

On the brighter side, scientists report that the tiger population in the areas of Asia have surged back from the extinction zone. The unknown phenomenon has caused scientists to rethink the way tiger breeding works, with some theories saying that the population experiences a surge once every thousand years. Some fringe scientist have begun correlating the missing children with the surge in tiger population, but most have been dismissed as merely coincidence.