I commented recently that it would be great if people cared as much as they do about the fate of refugees as they do the fate of pokemon, but this observation isn't limited to users of the Pokemon Go game. I could have said the same about many other things that border on national obsessions. But there is a bit more to say about the unbelievable response to the release of Pokemon Go.
Explaining the success of this phenomenon to me would be near impossible. For whatever reason, I don’t get it, but that doesn’t mean I get to take any superior airs about those who are enjoying it. Whether it interests me or not, I think it is great when people find something they really enjoy. Everyone has their own form of recreation and entertainment that they value and for many people it is computer games (if you are arguing that some computer games are more grown up than other computer games you have probably given up the high ground anyway) or television (I have seen more status updates about The Bachelor, Masterchef or Game of Thrones than I have about Pokemon). I don’t think there is much objective measure of how to grade recreational pass-times. As long as you are not bothering other people or hurting yourself, more power to you.
But something about the Pokemon game is making me angry. If police have to make public reminders for people that they can’t play Pokemon whilst driving there are a lot of selfish people out there who are far too happy risking the lives of other road users. I say selfish deliberately and I have written elsewhere that I make the same judgement for others who make choices to take risks whilst driving (and have certainly been guilty of it myself in the past). If everyone chose to make driving safely their number one priority when behind a wheel I cannot see how we wouldn’t slash our senseless road toll to a fraction of its current rate.
Pokemon users, don’t let anyone make you self-conscious about enjoying a harmless game. But if you try to play it whilst driving your car, you should be ashamed of yourself.