Don't let Pokémon Go ruin your life
By Hugh Upsher
When a new app breezes past Twitter in daily active users within the first week of its launch, you know you'd better put your seatbelt on. Pokémon GO hasn’t even officially arrived in South Africa yet, but people have already started getting into the action using their American iTunes accounts. So what’s the problem? Well, this is the type of game that changes people. And when people get sucked in it has the potential to end relationships and stifle careers. Here are some tips on not letting the Pokémon GO phenomenon ruin your life.
Don't even start
You should seriously consider floating above the madness that will descend upon the Pokémon fiends all around you. Realise that every new commitment you make comes with a fresh set of anxieties and complications to your everyday life. By making the choice to abstain, you’re freeing yourself from the burden of one more thing to clog up your already scattered brain. Not getting involved in the first place is by far the most fiscally sound approach, especially when you consider the mad amounts of mobile data you would be burning through.
Log your hours
Okay, so abstaining, as with sex, isn’t really an option for most people. You will however, need to keep a lid on it somehow. In the peak of my Pokémon Sapphire playing days I was always disturbed by the opening menu screen that kept a time log of total playing hours. After clocking well over the 50-hour mark I knew it was time to walk away for a while. Simply being aware of the time you are essentially burning away should be a significant deterrent after the novelty factor has effectively worn off for you. These are hours you’ll never get back.
Apply the “Gotta catch ‘em all” philosophy to your life
It’s not a stretch to realise that the principles of Pokémon are based on real life human ambitions. The sad reality is that conquering your greatest challenges in a simulation is far less daunting than in real life. All you need to do is find a route towards the gamification of your human existence. Play yourself like a real world Sim character and reap the benefits by maxing out your fledgling life skills. Spend time on stepping up your social game, taking your skill sets to the next level and expanding your knowledge bases.
You may think the Meowth you named Garfield is the cleverest thing in the world, but unless you have friends who still care, you’ll be at a loss. Don’t make the mistake of letting a game creep into the parts of your life that it isn’t meant to. Don’t be that person on the news who walked off a cliff searching for a Bellsprout. Don’t be that person that can’t go thirty seconds without referencing a conversation back to your latest Poké-Gym challenge. Life is more than a socially acceptable digital dog-fighting league.