Are you playing this phenomenal game that’s sweeping the world right now? I’m sure you are! I see you, you and you on the MRT, walking on the roads, hanging around parks, running on streets, stooping in weird positions at the most awkward, “tat lor”(挡路，blocking the road) places swiping at your screens with a grim determination to #catchthemall!! I know, I know… Cuz I just downloaded the game last week… and then deleted it this week. It was quite a painful decision but these are my 3 reasons why I stopped.
- Pokemon Go is an incredible time suck –
Time and effort which I don’t have, unfortunately, so I’ll never be a worldclass Pokemon Trainer with the incredible arsenal of powered up monsters. To really be good at the game, you’ll have to commit the time and physically leave the house to go to all the obscure spots in Singapore. Then you have to walk or jog to hatch your eggs. Then collect more stardust and monster-specific sweets to evolve them. Then go to the gym and battle. Speaking of which, there was an epic battle going on at my gym with the gym switching switching colours every 5 minutes. It was almost as exciting as watching Schooling’s race for the finals. Nah… it’s still more exciting watching Schooling create Olympic history for Singapore!!! YAY!!!
Okay, back to Pokemon. So all these activities take too much time and mobility that I unfortunately don’t have. You can’t tell, but I am secretly envious of all those people hanging around parks at midnight, chasing the elusive Golduck at Bishan Park. Crazy stuff I wish I was doing in Uni cuz no one sleeps in hall. [I was from Sheares Hall by the way. It was a great experience without all the weird stuff going on now. #shearesandproud] Being chained at home while the kids are sleeping is not so conducive for world ambitions of a Top Pokemon Trainer. Then why don’t I make it a family affair that my kids can join in too and we can all exercise together??
- No. Because Pokemon Go is NOT good for family interaction
The moment my kids saw that I was playing Pokemon Go on my phone and I was just trying my darndest best to collect Pokeballs on the road, they demanded to have a turn. And then proceeded to bicker over who had control over the phone. That was not fun because i) I wasn’t playing and ii) I had to break up and moderate the fights. Not so fun. It was also very disturbing to see my kids having their eyes glued on the screens the entire journey, hardly looking up to search for cranes or excavators, or look at trees and flowers, or playing I Spy game, or pretending to be driving a spaceship and having space adventures having close shaves avoiding speeding meteors. It was deathly silent, and the kids were just looking out for the next Pokestop and swiping and swiping and swiping. It honestly freaked me out. And me? I know I’m distracted and monosyllabic when I’m on the game too. That’s not family interaction and this is enough grounds for me stopping. Besides, I’ve invested too much effort in keeping the kids off technology and I’m not going to start giving in to their iphone cravings now.
- Does Pokemon have roots in the occultic?
Ur… I don’t know. I’ve tried to read up a bit but every article just seems so emotionally charged or inconclusive that there isn’t a clear answer on this. There are accounts of people who have knowledge of the occult and they recognize some of these pictures and symbols appearing on Pokemon (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avoFI6A4SQY ; http://erikadawson.com/is-pokemon-safe-children-christian-perspective/) and there are other ministers or pastors saying it’s relatively harmless but as all role-playing games go, we have to guard against addiction or losing touch with reality. I’m not here to convince you Pokemon is evil but I do know I am deeply uncomfortable when Zach says, “I want to soot (shoot) the balls and catch the monsters and FIGHT!!!” As such, he is already quite physically aggressive and he doesn’t need any more encouragement in this area.
1 Corinthians 6:12, “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.
So in view of all these reasons plus other issues like privacy concerns, I have no good reason to continue playing it because it isn’t particularly beneficial or constructive. Quoting the a post from Erika Dawson’s blog,
“the bottom line is that we each are responsible before God. If there is a book, movie, situation, place causing you to feel uncomfortable or “off,” don’t ignore it. Take it to God. Pray about it, spend time reading God’s Word, the Bible, and ask the Holy Spirit to direct your thoughts and steps.
We are the gatekeepers of our hearts and minds, and as parents, we are the gatekeepers of our homes and for our children.”
I hope this has prompted you to just pause and reconsider if this game is for you and your family. And if you’ve decided to keep playing the game, sincerely, I wish you all the awesomest fun in the world, stay safe (keep off the roads) and hope you meet some really nice friends 🙂
A pretty objective article from a Methodist minister in Singapore http://aldersgate.sg/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/POKEMON-GO-REAL.pdf