Pokémon Go - Safety Tips and General Playing

Pokemon Go is a free augmented reality (AR) mobile game released this week. It is currently in beta version, so there are kinks to work out. The data generated by users will definitely help developers guide the evolution of this game. There are plenty of sites devoted to the ins and outs of playing, so the focus of this writing is safety and general observations related to playing pokemon go.

Be Mindful of Your Surroundings.

When you open the game, this is your first message. From playing and watching others, here are some things to consider:


Stopping While Walking

In public, and crowded spaces, stopping unexpectedly can make people bump into each other. It may not be a big deal to some, but it might upset others and cause trouble.

Objects, and Tripping

Watch where you’re walking. Some gamers walked into walls, each other, or missed a step on a flight of stairs while walking. Two players have already walked off cliffs catching Pokemon. Please be mindful of where you are walking. 

Crowding in Areas

This might also lead to pushing. This game is meant to be fun, and some gamers are more serious than others when it comes to catching pokemon.

300 Yard Radius

When you’re tracking a pokemon, you may potentially wander from your group. Let friends know before wandering off, and identify a meet up spot when you do get split up.

 Private Property

Sometimes there will be pokemon in areas you cannot reach. Please think about boundaries and respecting the space of others.

Respecting Small, Quiet Communities

There are already locations being swamped by players hoping to catch rare Pokemon. This is changing and disturbing the quality of life for those who moved away from the big city for a quieter life. Please find another location to hunt Pokemon, and petition to have pokestops and gyms in areas that can handle larger numbers of people. 

Trash and the Environment

The sudden influx of people into many cities will lead to noise pollution and trash. It will happen. Please represent the gamer community well by doing your part to clean up after yourself, and leaving a space the way you found it, or even better. 

Pokemon in the Street

This is a beta version, so there are kinks to work out. I’ve seen pokemon in the street, and people walking into traffic to get their pokemon. Wait. It’s not worth getting hurt, or hurting others. 

 Driving While Playing

Please do NOT do this. People have a hard enough time driving without checking their texts. This is a potentially huge safety concern, and it can lead to more accidents and untimely deaths. (This is not the same as having a passenger play while you drive.) A player crashed his car trying to catch a Pokemon while driving. DON'T DRIVE & PLAY

 Well-known Public Spaces


Malls, downtown areas, and universities are busy areas that tend to have lots of pokestops and gyms. Walking in the middle-of-nowhere can be a safety concern, and it may not be as fun as meeting other players in public spaces. 

 Working and Playing

It depends on how flexible one’s work environment is, but losing a job over catching a pokemon, or accidentally taking a photo of confidential information is a huge risk. Pokemon GO player almost loses job

The Camera When Snapping Photos 

Some people may not want their photos taken and plastered on the internet with pokemon on them. Be mindful of offering this respect.

Children & Searching for Pokemon 

It can be easy for enthusiastic younger pokemon trainers to run off when they’re tracking. It can also be easy to talk to younger gamers because of this connection. It will be important for parents and community members to talk to, and keep an eye out for the safety of little ones.

This meme is a joke, but it raises a very real concern about the safety of children when playing. 

This meme is a joke, but it raises a very real concern about the safety of children when playing. 

Safety & General Playing:

  • Wear comfortable shoes, socks, and clothes. You will be traveling for a while. Your body may be sore from this new level of activity.
  • Rest often, and drink water. Lots of us get carried away when gaming. There have been stories when gamers exhausted themselves to death, or they got really ill from playing too much without self care. Drink water, take breaks. The pokemon will be there another time. Your health and wellness is important.
  • Bring a charger, and map out rest stops. Some places will have outlets and quiet spaces for you to rest in between catching pokemon or battling in gyms. As any athlete will tell you, rest and nutrition are as important as training. Familiarize yourself with each area you travel to, and note resting places.
  • Safety in numbers: It’s safer with a group. Keep an eye out for each other, and have meeting spots and times if and when the group gets separated.
courtesy of legit lady gamers community united fb group <3 

courtesy of legit lady gamers community united fb group <3 

  • Scout your area before settling down to explore. Drive around, check with other players, or walk around before playing. Look for the pokestops and see if there are people lurking nearby. Trust your gut, and walk away if things don't feel right. 
  •  Sportsmanship: This is a game. Some of us may take this game more seriously or personally than others. Please consider how others may feel when they lose or do not catch a really rare pokemon when you do.
  • Turning off AR: This may help with extending the life of your battery.
  • Check your data usage before, during, and after playing. This will help see if you will overuse data. 
  • Look for public spaces with free WiFi. Malls might have free WiFi while you play.
  • Battery-saving mode: Turn your phone upside down for this feature to work. It will dim your screen while in this position.
  • Share the love: This is a game for people of all ages; new pokemon players, and well as those who’ve grown up with the cards, cartoons, and games. Encourage each other, and share the joys of success. This world has enough negativity in it. This game can bring people together (even when we’re on different teams).

So far, it seems these are the classifications of pokemon from how common to rare they are to find. Have fun catching all those Rattatas and Pidgeys! :P Some Pokemon GO Gameplay Tips | BuzzFeed

Gaming & Anger

Nerd Rage, Rage Quitting, and Angry Gamers


Nerd rage. Rage quitting.

If you have a gamer in your life, or are a gamer, you've most definitely come across game rage at least once. So, what exactly is it? The top definition on Urban Dictionary is: "to stop playing out of anger." There are additional components that make rage an appropriate word for this behavior. 

Sometimes the rage is accompanied with screaming, breaking things, physical aggression, and heightened emotionality. Losing not only once, but numerous times, being harassed online, or having difficulties with a game can lead to rage quitting.

Before some commentary on this behavior is shared, here is a video of what can commonly occur when a gamer experiences rage quitting. This is one of countless recordings available online. 

Now, this video was shared not to ridicule or shame gamers. It was shown to illustrate the seriousness of this problem. Around the world, there are millions of homes where gaming is part of everyday life. That means around the world, it can be fairly common to have a gamer get angry or a family member argue about bed times and spending time off the computer or console. This means that gaming and anger in the family is a normal thing, and yet games are being blamed. 

Is gaming really the problem?

Sometimes gaming is the problem. Sometimes it's part of the problem. Sometimes it's the solution for a chaotic life filled with problems. It really depends on context, and individual circumstances. In general, gaming can be the last part of the puzzle where a person who has limited coping skills finally has an outlet to channel anger and other strong emotions. In regards to many men and boys getting angry, there is something curious to consider:

Socially acceptable emotions for men and boys.

Expanding on traditional gender roles and emotional expression has changed within a generation. Even so, there are remnants of the "boys will be boys" and "boys don't cry" mentalities in the minds of many men and boys we know. Millennials, Gen Y, and Gen X gamers can come from a burdened culture where they are not allowed to express feminine emotions. This can be very draining, and misdirect every other emotion into anger. 

Underneath this rage that can "appropriately" be expressed from gaming and being competitive (because it's masculine and acceptable behavior) is lots of pain, unresolved losses, and vulnerability. Men and boys may be less likely to share directly about painful emotions unless it's a result of competition or gaming. This leaves males with a smaller window of opportunity to express normal emotions that females generally share throughout the day. 

What does this build up of emotion do to the human body? Emotions and intense energy builds up, and needs a release. If it isn't released in small bursts, well, you get rages.

Emotions are like air filling up in a balloon. There is only so much that can fill before it bursts. 

Females also get angry. 

Around half of all gamers are female. This leads to expanding on more traditional gender stereotypes or assumptions with female. Females can and do play all types of games, and can also experience nerd rage. Gaming can be an outlet for women where in general, the greater culture may not accept female anger or aggression as openly as when males do. 

Females may be pressured to maintain harmony in groups, and suppress feelings of anger to please others. This is not always the case, of course, yet there are socializing agents that may heavily shape a female's range of expressing negative emotions; the same way men are not nurtured to acknowledge more vulnerable types of emotions. According to an article on gender and anger, men tend to be more physical and aggressive with their anger, while females tend to be more passive aggressive (GOSSIPING).

Gaming may be used as a safer negative emotional outlet for some. It may be healthier to release anger while yelling and killing creeps in a videogame than picking a fight with a random person who bumped into you. In addition to all the positive aspects gaming offers its players, some may use it solely for an emotional outlet; others, not so much. Context is important. 

Context for anger

For many gamers, life can be difficult and overwhelming. People may not always be the kindest, and social support might be minimal. Being misunderstood, and not being able to connect with others may add context to why some gamers have angry outbursts when they play. Having a childlike heart, or being labeled as immature, or lazy by loved others can also be disheartening. Countless stereotypes on being a gamer can make it even more difficult to connect with non-gamers. Adult children affected by the recession, Millennials, also have an added layer of difficulty to finding work and finishing school while some of their peers may be more "successful." 

How nerd rage affects family & relationships

Gaming and anger can become a focus within the family system or relationship. This intense focus on anger can cause arguing, break ups, and additional anger from others. The entire experience can be frustrating, overwhelming, and tiring. Lots of people may start giving ultimatums for the gamer to quit playing "or else" something will be taken away. Parents of adult gamers may feel guilty for permitting the behavior to get to this excessive state, as well as disappointed and upset their child is not thriving. Gamers can feel misunderstood for their love of gaming, annoyed that others want to take something that brings them joy away, and guilty or stuck for not pleasing others. It's a lot of emotions, a lot of perspectives, and a lot of relationship dynamics to consider. 

What happens next?

If extreme anger and gaming are difficult to even initially address, seeking professional support may be a first step. Gaming can be an addiction. If behaviors become difficult, it's important to seek help; either for your own support, or for the family or relationship. Information is invaluable, and learning what gaming can offer a person can help increase connection and open communication. Sometimes arguments and anger can really be about gaming, and sometimes it really isn't about gaming in the first place. Everyone has a story, and every gamer has a history and reason for playing. Listening to understand can make a world of difference. If these initial stages are confusing or difficult to start, an awesomely compassionate and gaming affirmative therapist may be able to help start the healing process. 

On Art (& Gaming) 005 - Kristin Mullinax

Art, and what defines it, has changed significantly over the years. “Good art is art that allows you to enter it from a variety of angles and to emerge with a variety of views.” (Schmich, Mary). In the primitive era, cave paintings were considered art. In the 15th century art was often defined by ingenious written works, lavish paintings, and silver- tongued orators. I believe I, as a millennial, am experiencing a significant shift in what is considered art and have, perhaps, the broadest assortment to choose from. In my generation art can encompass anything from traditional mediums, such as paint and the written word, to non-traditional mediums, such as technology. To me, art is multidimensional in its execution and its consumption. To the artist, art is a pouring out of the soul through a medium.  To the viewer, art provokes contemplation, motivation and action. Art is deep, meaningful communication that moves people.      

    I’m a gamer. For those who don’t understand the term, it means someone who plays video games on a regular basis. I started playing games regularly when I was a kid, then life got in the way and I stopped for many years. Some may say that stopping was a good thing but I disagree. Gaming taught me resourcefulness, problem solving, how to work hard to reach my goals and how to feel confidence; things my parents neglected to instill in my sister and me.

In an article titled “The Millenials are coming,” Marian Salzman says of Millenials “Some of them are the greatest generation… They have these tools to get things done… They are enormously resourceful.” This reminds me of my sister and me when we were younger. We grew up as latchkey kids who, more or less, raised ourselves. To stave off boredom we developed keen imaginations that kept us busy for hours. When our imaginations failed us, we read books or watched cartoons on TV.  Then, one evening, my father brought home a computer he purchased; along with a box of random software and hardware, from a man he worked with. The only internet connection available to us was dial-up which was prohibitive in its slow speed. With internet use limited, my sister and I played the games that came with the computer.

    My favorite game to play then was called “Jill of the Jungle.” In this game you play as an Amazon woman named Jill who zips through the trees on vines as she fights various jungle monsters. Jill was strong and brave; the polar opposite of my timid self, and I aspired to be her. For a while the hope of that identity shaped how I acted. However, that dream didn’t last for long. Merely surviving the popularity contest of middle and high school consumed most of my time and energy. My childlikeness began to be replaced with insecurity and games were not “cool” for girls, so I stopped playing them.

     In “Outcast Generation” the author writes “My new friend… introduced me to a world...where I never thought I would find others like myself.” By the time I was 23, I had moved to Seattle, left my religion, and was in the process of reinventing my life. I felt lost and foreign to Seattle until I met the man I dated for a while. He was an avid gamer and he introduced me to a game called Legend of Zelda. Legend of Zelda is an action adventure game about a boy named Link who is on a quest to save his homeland, Hyrule; and the princess Zelda from a man named Ganon. In order to progress through the levels the player often must solve puzzles, problem solve and think critically about their next steps. The game highlights friendship, loyalty, and courage. I carried elements I learned in the game out to my everyday life and applied the principles to situations at home and work. Once again, games began to inspire change in me and shaped parts of my identity. As Dave Marsh said, in “Fortunate Son,” “No longer did I feel powerless, and if I still felt cheated, I felt capable of getting my own back, someday, some way.” Through gaming I felt equipped to step out into the world and pursue my dreams.

    The game I most love is called “The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.” Even as an older game, it is still one of the most immersive and aesthetically pleasing games available. It is an open world, adventure RPG (role playing game) in which you create a character who will become the Dragonborn: the savior of Skyrim who defeats the dragons who have been terrorizing its people. Open world games are fascinating, they're created to have very large boundaries so that players can explore the world where the game is set. A player can choose to travel around a mountain, or climb it; they wade through a river or simply follow it to their destination. The player levels up by gathering resources, forging weapons and tools, and practicing their skills all while accepting quests to assist Skyrim’s inhabitants. This game has, perhaps, shaped me the most as an adult.

    My character is a woman. She is brave, she fights dragons daily, as well as other monsters that stalk the land. She is a fierce dual wielder who attacks her enemies with the speed and precision of a well-trained warrior.  She is also a skilled magician who can call fire from the sky and ice from the air around her. I aspire to be like her; with obvious exceptions. In real life I try to be brave, I work towards being strong in body and in mind, I practice and study to develop skills needed to pursue my goals.  The vivid world I play in has inspired me to create a similar world for myself. I live in an open world, I can travel around the mountain or I can climb it; I can wade through the river or follow it to my destination. I haven't battled dragons or search for treasure, I haven't joined any guilds or helped shop owners locate missing items, but my life is an adventure nonetheless. My quests are my goals and dragons are challenges I face along the way. Like my character when a dragon looms above her, when I encounter a problem in life, I fortify myself and I draw my sword. When I approach problems as I would in the game I am able to think through them and execute appropriate solutions.

    I am not an anomaly. The gaming community is large and in it you will find many creative, passionate, driven people. Gamers live much of their lives on a quest for excellence; even if excellence is obtained by getting the highest score in Mario, maxing out our Two Handed weapon skill, or creating the perfect replica of Altair’s sword for our costume. Games feed our imaginations, but they also feed our drives. Game designers, who create these stunning worlds and orchestrate mind boggling challenges, are definitely artists. Their art speaks; it inspires and motivates a group of people who may not be driven by promises of wealth or fame, but by promises of titles such as Vault Hunter or Dragonborn.

Kristin's MBTI preference is INFP, and she is a college student and creative. This is just one of many perspectives of a gamer, and it's so awesome to step into her world with her words.