My original thought for installing Pokemon was for online interaction. Pokemon hasn’t any online interaction. The interaction I read on an article comes from the face-to-face encounters while playing Pokemon.
I do see the value of video gaming in missions, but I am not a video game person. In fact, our Wii is now in storage. We haven’t played it for a year. That, too, was great for get-togethers and online interaction. Pokemon riveted the country and had very intense reactions when it came out.
The people against Pokemon spoke out about it as if it were a political figure. A security firm zero’d in on the security weaknesses in the app and created a way for companies to kill Pokemon (literally). My newsfeed for a few weeks was a storm of adverse reactions. So here’s my take on Pokemon.
Pokemon has been uninstalled from my phone, but not because I’m in the anti-Pokemon party. Pokemon has some points to consider and churches should be encouraged to use it. Pokemon gyms are popping up. People are using it to connect in face-to-face situations. Conversations and good-hearted competition are occuring. Like any online tool, there are drawbacks and safety concerns.
Just a reminder: Pokemon is just a game. Like in the days of World War II when people flocked to movies to escape from the reality of the war, Pokemon is a good distraction. It gets the kids and adults outside, teaches them about landmarks in their city, and leads them to face-to-face conversations. It brings the fun back into our over-serious, anxiety-ridden, quick-tempered, fearful society, and distracts us from violence, racism, hate, bigotry, terrorism, and the like.
The world is on fire. Let’s remember to have fun and connect with our friends and neighbors. It may not be Pokemon, but maybe you could think of something else.
- Pokemon Go in a Fractured and Flattened World by TGC If you’re a parent who has questions about the game, check out this primer from Tony Kummer about what it is and how to avoid potential dangers (like, crossing the street without looking both ways!). Two friends of mine, Chris Martin and Aaron Earls, offer good advice for churches, as does Joshua Clayton of Southwestern Seminary. And there’s been some controversy regarding appropriate places to play. (Arlington Cemetery and the Holocaust Museum? Uh, no.) READ MORE