OUR VIEW: Hunt for icons captures many

Enjoy the augmented reality, but don’t leave the real reality behind

The Canadian release of the mobile app Pokemon Go on Sunday gave the remaining holdouts on this side of the U.S. border a chance to join the hunt for mythical creatures in a real-life environment.

With many local tech-savvy cellphone users having secured a U.S. version of the app last week, most of us have likely by now witnessed cellphone users wandering around in a trance-like state, holding their devices in front of them like some miniature Geiger counter.

But is it all bad news about this latest pop culture phenomenon, which in less than two weeks became the most used mobile game in the U.S., eclipsing Candy Crush, with 21 million daily users?

There’s been chatter on both sides about Pokemon Go, from the pros and cons of playing it to the business decisions which led to its release.

Critics point to the safety issues related to Pokemon icon hunters not paying attention as a major downfall, but then, some people stopped becoming as aware of their surroundings at the point smartphones got popular. Others will ignore this craze, as they do with all marketing trends and must-have items that clamour for our attention.

But we see some positives coming out of this augmented reality experience for players.

Young people who tend more toward staying inside on a pleasant day or evening, perched in front of their computers, are suddenly getting outside instead.

Our recommendation for Pokemon Go users? Enjoy the augmented reality, but don’t leave the real reality behind.

-Black Press