Keyboard Commando – Don’t let the ‘Pokemon Go’ craze affect your driving, it’s not worth it

by Mac Olsen

There’s a posting on Facebook that I agree with so much, given our technology-driven era.

It reads, ‘I’m so glad I had a childhood before technology took over.’ The photo is from the 1970s and depicts four young kids on their bikes, just hanging out together.

That was the era I grew up in and we didn’t have all the high-tech gadgets and games that kids have today, such as ‘Pokemon Go’. Having fun back then meant going outside to the yard and playing, or riding your bikes along the streets. We weren’t slaves to the technology as many kids and young people are today.

And that slavery has its own consequences – including distracted driving. The Edmonton Journal had a report last week about the risk of distracted driving due to ‘Pokemon Go’.

“This is a craze that is going to once again produce a new crop of injuries,” said Dr. Louis Francescutti in the interview.

The story also says this augmented reality game has already led to injuries, such as in Quebec City where a player reversed his car into a police cruiser.

Francescutti adds that distracted driving continues to cost lives.

“What it does is, it engages a big part of your cognitive brain and you’re not assessing risk,” he says.
“We’ve got no shortage of documented cases of people losing their lives. We had predicted it back then (in 2005) it would be a major problem and it did turn out to be a major problem.”

It’s one thing to be using a GPS unit for driving, so long as you’re cautious about keeping your attention on the traffic in a 360-degree fashion. But the lesson here is – don’t play ‘Pokemon Go’ while you’re driving! Pure and simple! It’s not worth putting yourself and others at risk!

This isn’t the ‘nanny state’ I’m talking about, as there are already laws on the books in Alberta for penalizing distracted drivers. It’s simply to convey common sense about when and when not to play a video game.

You only have to see video clips on social media to see people walking into objects when they’re focussed solely on their phones. You can’t help be feel the ‘Ouch!’ factor when the inevitable result occurs. You also hope that they will learn not to do it again.

I’ve seen a lot of stories and rhetoric about ‘Pokemon Go’ in the last month. But it’s not a game that interests me, even in the slightest.

Nor do I have an interest in the games for my Samsung phone. When some invites me to play or makes a request for assistance in the game they’re playing, I simply ignore them all.

Back in my day, video games like ‘Space Invaders’ and ‘Pac Man’ were all the rage. And more than once, I saw players at the arcade get so obsessed with losing that they yelled profanities and punched the games in frustration – or a punching bag, the least consequential outcome.

I don’t think that that has changed today, with people becoming so obsessed about the outcome of the games they’re playing. But don’t become a distracted driving statistic, as Francescutti warns.

Share this post