You remember some of the fads of yesteryear: Hula Hoops, Rubik’s Cube, pet rocks.
Speaking of rocks, unless you’ve been hanging out under one lately – with the way the presidential race is taking shape, who could blame you? – you probably have noticed a sudden surge in the number of pedestrians taking in the great outdoors.
That’s good news. Right?
Well, if they are actually paying attention to everything that tells them exercise is beneficial, then, yes. If they’re wandering around with their eyes glued to their smartphones, then not so much.
On July 6, Niantic and the Pokémon Co. released the “location-based reality mobile game” Pokémon Go in the United States, and it has caught on here faster than doing the Macarena. It also is catching a lot of flak.
You’ve heard the reports: girl hit by car, teen finds dead body, robbers lure players into trap. Danger, Will Robinson. Danger.
Meanwhile, places such as Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Memorial Holocaust Museum are telling Pokémon Go players to go elsewhere, which is highly understandable given the respect that such venues should engender.
Many property owners are none too happy, either, with the prospect of their yards being invaded by wandering gamers.
With so much going against it, the Pokémon Go phenomenon looks to be short-lived. And that’s somewhat of a shame.
We rail against “these kids today” sitting in front of their televisions playing video games. Here’s an opportunity to do something similar while actually using their muscles and breathing in what we’d like to think is fresh air.
But our society isn’t built for pedestrians to roam free. Sure, that can work within defined parameters, such as trails and parks. But set them loose on America at large, and the problems obviously arise.
So in effect, we’re telling video game enthusiasts that it’s preferable for them to be sitting on a couch in front of the television.
Hey, it’s safe there. At least until the obesity sets in.