Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Kelly's World | Not looking for no Pokémon

Published:Monday | August 1, 2016 | 8:00 AMDaviot Kelly
In this Wednesday, July 20, photo, Egyptian dentist Mark Shehata, 24, uses the ‘Pokemon Go’ mobile phone application while driving in Cairo, Egypt.

So I can't remember the actual day or date, but all I know, I was standing there, clueless!

Now mind you, that feeling of complete and utter confusion is nothing new for me. Reminds me of the mathematics preparation class for the Common Entrance Exam (you GSAT generation have no idea what that was). I remember looking at the chalkboard and thinking to myself, "I'm going to fail my exams and become a worthless member of society." Tears practically ran down my cheeks because I just couldn't get it. Somehow I passed, and then even got a Grade Two in mathematics at CXC. Haven't used maths since (rolls eyes).

Now the last time I felt as clueless as I did during that class was the other day when I heard people talking about Pokemon Go. "What the hell is that?" I asked without actually asking anyone. All I knew about it was that everybody, or so it felt, was playing it. Well there you go, at least I knew it was a game. Turns out it's a (deep breath) free-to-play, location-based, augmented reality mobile game (thank you, Google). It's based on the cartoon that was madly popular in the late '90s. The game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called (you guessed it) Pokemon, who appear on device screens as if they are in the real world. So you're literally walking around with your phone, 'looking' for Pokemon!

Having learnt what they were, I realised my brain had internalised more information that it really didn't need (kinda like half the stuff I learnt in high school). Sigh. You see, here's the thing, I never liked the Pokemon cartoon - hated it actually. The concept was different I suppose (I would love to explain more of it to the uninitiated, but I really don't have the cerebral space or patience to study it). Pokemon just wasn't the type of cartoon that grabbed me. And so there's no way this game version is going to inhabit my phone. While I appreciate that it gets people actually walking, which is good exercise, I just don't think it's something a grown person should be doing.

But, hey, to each his own. The disturbing thing (or enjoyable thing dependent on your point of view) is the pace at which the game has grown. It had been downloaded by at least 15 million users in just one week after it was launched. But people have got into accidents because they're too engrossed in the game and not paying attention to what they should be doing, like driving! Even in Jamaica, players have admitted to going to places that aren't exactly on their usual list of hangouts (including private property), just because they are PokeStops (places where you can catch Pokemon). The. World. Has. Gone. Mad.

Seeing how mi crazy already, I don't need any help. So no Pokemon hunting for me. Oh, and if anyone I know gets into trouble, don't call me. And if anybody shows up at my gate 'cause it's a PokeStop, mi ah call police! Later

• Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com.