In this year, the world was shocked by the arrival of new smartphone game which is called Pokemon Go. It is the continuation of the old Pokemon game from Nintendo but the differences is that this Pokemon Game must be played by going outside using your own handphone. It’s popularity caught the world by surprise and it is considered as the next level of gaming. This game had been called augmented-reality, which is the player feels like actual Pokemon trainer in the game world.
Me myself although used to play Pokemon back in the 90s when it is can be played only on Nintendo Gameboy or computer did not feels wanted to played the game as yet. I’m not sure why. It may be I’m already past the gaming phase and playing video games can’t satisfy me anymore. But of course I will try to play Pokemon Go in the future.
It is also interesting that a lot of people who did not played any Pokemon or video games in the past also addicted in playing this game. One might think only die hard Pokemon fans will attracted to this game but apparently the new style of gaming also attracted the non-gamers. Of course in this day, all smartphone can download a lot of apps game, so it is hard to distinguish between gamers and non-gamers. That is why games like Angry Birds and Candy Crush is hugely popular across the world.
I myself also think that a lot of people played this game because of peer pressure. Since their roommate or office colleague played this game, so they also wanted to try this game although did not really interested in gaming at first. We might called this phenomenon as Fear of Missing Out or FOMO. Since we live in interconnected world through social media and smartphone, it is hard nowadays to disconnect ourselves to the current issues and trend that had been happening. So whenever we see our friend in social media do certain things or write about certain things, we are compelled to talk or write about it. Failure to do so will make us feel like we did not updated on certain issues.
This new anxieties can be considered a modern one and only surfaced in the 21st century with the expansive use of the Internet technology. We can connect to other people, be it family, friends or even strangers at any time and any where. That is why we continue to read Facebook, Twitter or Whatsapp. In fact if you lost your phone or cannot connected to Internet even for one day, we feels incomplete and thinking that a lot of things in the world had moving on. This was not the norm in the past whereas we only connected to the bigger world only through printed media, radio or television. For example, if we in Malaysia and there is an earthquake in Japan, we can only know about it through 8 o’clock news. But nowadays, we can be updated on the crisis minutes after it happened through Twitter and it is reported by the people live in the place of crisis. Remember the bombing of MH17 at Eastern Ukraine? The whole world get the images of the bombed plane through pictures shared in social media since the reporter and medical personnel cannot reach the place yet since the place is still in a state of war. This is true on the report on Syria civil war since there is no reporter that could go into the place of bombing, news organization only reported things that had been shared by the combatant, be it Syrian army, the resistance, or even ISIS. Although they admit that the news is considered unreliable since it may be a propaganda vehicle. That is why reporter need to be impartial especially in the times of crisis.
We might criticize the phenomenon of Pokemon Go and dismisses it just another things that wasted our time. But if we know how to manipulate the technology, we can used it for the advancement in a lot of scientific field. They might be an apps that resemble Pokemon Go that will help our children’s education in the future. So we should celebrate the technology and not just fixating on the gaming side. Instead of thinking on the harmful effect of Pokemon Go, why not think about the benefit that we can get in the future.