It took less than a month after its release, but Pokémon Go is already showing us how messed up, dark, and just plain dumb humans can be. Why? Because, humans, of course!
If you don't want to see how a seemingly tame little mobile game is bringing out the worst in humanity, then you might want to click the back button now.
Infiltrating Cemeteries and Veterans Parks
Parks and landmarks are popular places to play the game, since they are often Pokéstops and places where Pokémon congregate. But make your way into a cemetery or memorial and you could get your ass handed to you by a really pissed off vet.
There are two sides to this disagreement, of course. While the Pokémon Go players may not have been damaging anything, they were in a fairly somber place. Tents and loud music were a decidedly bad idea, especially around those who come to grieve or memorialize. These Poké-players may have narrowly avoided a violent situation.
It looks like less Pokéstops have been popping up in cemeteries and likely because of similar such situations. There's something not right about a person capable of sitting at the base of a gravestone for hours playing a mobile game capturing mythical creatures.
Gameplaying At Mass Tragedy Memorials
It's sad and surprising that there would even be a question of what activities one engages in at a somber tribute site such as Auschwitz or the 9/11 Memorial in NYC. But then again, we have young people like the lady below who think smiling selfies at the site of a mass genocide is a great way to capture memories.
The Auschwitz Museum has actually had to come out and say no to Pokémon Go altogether, saying that playing the game on the site is disrespectful. It's sad that this sort of announcement would ever even need to be made.
The 9/11 memorial has four Pokéstops on site, an unfortunate placement on the part of the game makers, but not an excuse for people to wander the site playing the game. But humans are the worst, and apparently they really just "gotta catch 'em all."
Blaming The Game For Injuries Inflicted By Stupidity
Sometimes the dark side of humanity is really just the reveal of the sheer levels of stupidity we're capable of reaching. A 15-year-old girl got hit by a car when she crossed an intersection while playing Pokémon Go. The nature of the game may require the player to stare at their phone screen, but even the most common of sense dictates one shouldn't wander into a busy street without looking around.
Apparently this wasn't as obvious to the girl. According to her, her injury was the game's fault not her own. Even if looking both ways before crossing a street is the most basic of child-rearing safety strategies. As if traffic-related incidents and deaths aren't already a high enough statistic in this country.
Searching For Pokémon Among Landmines
It's bad enough people's own obsession of the game have led to their self-harm, but even darker still is the thought that simply playing the game might get you killed. Not a huge problem in the States, of course, but in Bosnia, apparently you have to look out for landmines. How depressing is it to know that a country that was once torn apart by war still has reminders of those days in the form of deadly buried landmines that can be triggered just by playing what should be a harmless game? That said, Bosnian players of the game would do well to forget about the Pokémon in off-limits areas and Niantic should consider leaving Pokémon out such places as well.
Endure a Stab Wound To Catch 'Em All
There are a lot of Pokémon in the world and a truly dedicated player needs to establish how far they are willing to go to catch 'em all. Including what level of personal injury and state of emergency they can endure before quitting.
We've heard about bad guys using lures and Pokéstops to rob people, but being stabbed while playing the game sounds like a nightmare. A nightmare one 21-year-old man lived out while playing the game one evening. The truly bizarre part of the story, of course, is that he continued to play well past the stabbing incident, even stopping for food before calling for help. Not sure which part of the story is more disturbing: a stabbing or a delusional man obsessed with a mobile game more than his own survival. Best example of Darwinism at work yet.
A Glimmer Of Hope?
At least we can end this list of darker Pokémon tales on a positive note. In Indiana, an animal shelter has come up with a great idea. It's asking Pokémon lovers, who also happen to be animal lovers, to think about walking shelter dogs while they go out and search for their Pikachus.
A noble cause benefitted by the game that is sweeping the nation. Gotta walk 'em all!
What do you think of these tales of humanity's worst Pokémon-induced behavior?