A Real Fantasy World

A Fool In NH Column Heading

Have you heard about the new Pokemon Go craze? It’s the newest fun game you can play on your phone. It is another great invention to help people waste more time.
The idea for the game came from someone who saw that a vast majority of the population spent the better part of their outdoor time waking while looking straight down into the screens of their phones hoping something someone else was doing would help to brighten their day. Lately though, people have been getting bored with the same old, still they continue to stare at their phones.
The creator of this game picked up on this and invented an app where people can use their phones to not only walk about aimlessly waiting for their friends to post say, a funny cat video, but to also now capture imaginary creatures.
Maybe you’ve never heard of Pokemon Go, but I guarantee you have seen it being used.
It is similar to a Zombie movie where hordes of the undead walk slowly in no apparent direction. Zigging and zagging, suddenly making 180 degree turns with no concern for who or what might be in front of them.
In other words, the next time you watch an episode of The Walking Dead, picture all of the zombies holding and looking at smartphones; this is what Pokemon Go is. The only advantage the Zombies on the TV show have is that they are actually looking where they are going.
These people aren’t confused, they are working hard to rid the streets of tiny, furry monsters that only they can see and gather valuable points that can be used for…well…nothing at all.
If you happen to come across a Pokemon Go player, it is best to stay out of their way since their sense of reality has been compromised and they can no longer be responsible for their actions. (It is fun to watch them for a minute or two as their eyes will look up from their phone for a moment to see if that cute little imaginary goblin is actually there. Even if that doesn’t happen, chances are good they will walk into a tree or pothole which in turn makes for a great YouTube video to share with your friends while taking a break from capturing imaginary monsters.)
Even though I personally think the whole Pokemon Go thing really serves no purpose but to help the chiropractic business as people’s necks become more out of alignment from never looking up, there are practical purposes for this technology which makes things exist where they really don’t.
I am not talking about obvious applications like, for example, where one could take a museum tour and have a famous person like, say, James Earl Jones, appear on their phones in front of each artifact and tell of its historical significance, I’m thinking on a different level.
Parents could load an app onto their kids phones where a virtual image of them would randomly pop up on the screen to check in from time to time. This alone might make the umbilical cord connection to the smartphone less appealing, though I have my doubts.
I thought that those running for office could use an app like this to their advantage. A virtual image of a candidate appearing on phones of people who are frustrated while waiting for long periods of time, letting the user know that, if elected, this will never happen anymore, could be useful in getting a few votes. (The Department of Motor Vehicles, the security line at the airport and my dentist’s office all come to mind.)
It could also be used as an anger reliever during moments where a bit of rage may begin to boil. For instance, that person whose has decided their car is more important than everyone else’s and takes up two parking spaces in a busy parking lot. You can take out your phone, point it at the car, press a button and have the Dalai Lama appear to convince you that there really is no need to get angry, it’s all small stuff. (For those of you who were waiting for a more explosive solution, well that just gives me more reason to think we need this app.)
I’m sure that similar apps are being developed in the wake of the silly success of the Pokemon Go thing. Let’s hope it gets a bit more positive and useful.
I can understand the attraction of the Pokemon Go game to those 16 and under, I was there once, I get it. But if you are older than twenty-one and you play the game more than one minute a day, well, we need to talk. There really is other stuff that needs to be done.

To find out more about Brendan’s book and upcoming appearances go to www.BrendanTSmith.com