I saw a young man walk into a wall at the park last week. No joke.
The Pokémon Go craze has almost (yes, almost) intrigued me enough to learn how I, too, can walk into walls and run away in shame.
But, let’s be honest, we have bigger things upon which to focus. Take the 2016 Republican National Convention. Even if you haven’t watched it (I haven’t), I’m sure you’ve heard the highlights:
Trump said something inappropriate!
Protests took place outside!
Cruz got booed!
So in the midst of much excitement (i.e. drama), why then are thousands of people choosing to escape into an augmented reality game?
Because, quite simply, we are already living the game – all of us.
Just a few weeks ago, most Americans enjoyed a Pokémon-free existence. That is, if we wanted to avoid the brand, we could easily do so. Now it seems our world has been transformed and public places have never looked so strange.
I remember that same feeling when, months ago, I observed that several Facebook friends – people I personally know – were following Donald Trump and, worse, were supporting him for presidency.
This must be a dream. This must be a dream.
But it didn’t stop there. Then came the Jesus posts. The angry American posts. The anyone-but-Hillary posts. And, suddenly, the world I had been living in for 30 years became my own alternate reality.
Every day is now a game of Avoid the Propaganda, which leaves us all desperately chasing positive “experience points” – any fleeting pieces of goodness that will fight the darkness. And, the truth is, it penetrates our days from all sides. Unfortunately, as Hillary Clinton’s camp further demonstrates, the golden opportunity to practice trustworthy politics passed long ago.
And, somewhere between you and I, the country lost its mind in the competition.
Now history is a most powerful teacher. I am confident that my children will not even know of Pokémon by the advent of their teenage years. And so, too, will this election cycle pass.
So what, then, is a concerned, non-participating citizen to do? I am on watch. I refuse to immerse myself in a system that only rewards the cheats, the unjust. But maybe, just maybe, the time will come where I can find the courage to warn a player – one who cannot yet see what is to come – of the unforgiving wall that lies ahead.
And, if I am very lucky, my child will put down the phone in time to listen.
Vote your conscience.