Roughly one week ago, the world lost its collective mind as Pokemon GO was released for iOS and Android. For those not familiar with the downloadable game, it is an augmented reality app that uses a phone’s camera and GPS to allow players to find and capture virtual characters, train them, and then fight them.
Sounds awesome, right? What it really does is turn otherwise functioning adults into zombie-like creatures wandering the streets in search of virtual creatures. The game has also been used to lure victims into getting mugged, businesses have been overridden with “customers” who are there only to find characters, two teenagers were shot at while playing at 1:30am, and two guys in Encinitas, California fell off a cliff after walking past a “NO TRESPASSING” sign and a “DO NOT CROSS” sign while playing.
That’s all terrible but what is perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the game is that Pokemon characters also appear on highways for commuters to snatch up. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) frequently updates its highway signs to be relevant and humorous so people pay attention to them. The latest is seen above. It reads, “BEWARE THE POKEMON! DON’T GAME AND DRIVE!” to remind people that staying alive takes priority over video games. CDOT is also credited with the expression “GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR APP AND PAY ATTENTION.”
Good on you, CDOT. Video games are great and all but enough is enough. When it causes unintentional cliff diving, getting shot, or taking your eyes off the road, it might be time to re-evaluate a few things. Hey, on the bright side, I heard if you resist the first three characters that appear you’ll get a chance to get Pikachu!