This might just be the biggest upset in the history of gaming. Mere months ago no one could have predicted this statement would be true: a Pokemon entry is the absolute biggest game of the year.
Infinity Ward and Dice can quit dueling – they both lost. Despite dominating for months, Blizzard has absolutely nothing on Niantic at this particular moment in time. No Man's who? Everybody's too busy catching digital monsters to spare any time exploring a galaxy.
A term like “unqualified success” doesn't even begin to cover the situation. People who couldn't have told you the difference between Link and Mario a month ago are now spending all their time playing a mobile game. Pokemon Go is so big it's actually overtaking the number of people who regularly use Twitter.
Although Niantic is sitting on the biggest smash hit of 2016, all is not well in the realm of digital dog fighting. With great fame comes great drama, and Pokemon Go has spurred on quite a bit of that in a very, very short amount of time. This unexpected phenomena might just be heralding the apocalypse with how many times its managed to make headlines well outside the world of gaming.
At this point, you're as likely to see a reporter mangling names of Pokemon on the 5 'o clock news as anywhere else – and almost universally for negative reasons. Here, we've rounded up the worst of the worst as gamers leave the living room and venture into the outside world, where much mayhem was sadly waiting for them.
Pokemon Go Causes Serious Injuries
It's right there at the very start every time you open the app: be alert at all times and aware of your surroundings. This warning has gone unheeded by more than a few overeager fans who've got to catch 'em all.
In Encinitas, California, two unnamed men in their early 20's took a tumble off a cliff while looking for Pokemon, resulting in life guards having to rescue them before being carted off to Scripps La Jolla Hospital for treatment.
Many more injuries have been reported, from falls to car crashes, with the 1st official death attributed to the game occurring in Guatemala in late July when a teen player was ambushed and shot. It's a fun game, but not worth dying over.
Derpy Gamers Make Us All Look Bad
Falling off a cliff while chasing a Pidgey isn't the most boneheaded thing someone has done while playing Pokemon Go. Also in the running for that particular title is a Baltimore resident who crashed his RAV 4 into a parked police vehicle while he was looking down at the app on his phone!
Don't worry, the police are getting in on the action though, with officers in New Hampshire using the game to lure in criminals with outstanding warrants.
There's been a rash of trespassing and getting into trouble with property owners, but Romain Pierre is the man who easily outdid all others - by sneaking onto a military base in Indonesia to find Pokemon! That guy is lucky not to be in a body bag right now.
Pokemon Go Makes Kids Grow Up Super Fast
In a very Law And Order “oh no a dead body!” moment, several players have actually stumbled across dead bodies in the quest to catch 'em all. The game is designed to get people out and see new things, but I don't think corpses are quite what Niantic had in mind...
A teenage girl in Wisconsin, three women in San Diego, and a man in New Hampshire have all made the news for unexpectedly discovering actual deceased human remains while trying to find various Pokemon.
Get ready for more of these as people explore wilderness areas. I wonder when the first murder will officially be solved due to dedicated Pokemon Go players?
Re-Igniting The Religious Anti-Gaming Fervor
Some of you whippersnappers may be too young to remember when the church pulpit was routinely being used to preach against Pokemon trading cards. No, I'm not kidding.
Turns out all those insidious Blastoises and Charmanders were really just clever disguises for invisible demonic forces looking to sneak into your children's brains and make them like heavy metal... or something. None of it every really made much sense.
There was a time when all that energy was focused on Dungeons & Dragons, and then on the reviled Magic: The Gathering (remember when Unholy Strength had a big inverted pentagram on it?), but you better believe the religious right got around to Pokemon as well.
While all the hysteria resulted in more than a few annoyed kids not being able to play the latest fad card games (myself included), it also led to some hilariously amusing pop culture, like the infamous Turmoil in the Toy Box book series.
Sadly, that trend has re-ignited as certain segments of the religious population have noticed just how popular Pokemon Go has become. The pastor in the clip below for instance has quite the entertaining story about children becoming possessed by Pokemon...
Pokemon Go Altercations And Disruptions
In just about any situation, whether we're talking about video games or literally anything else in life, there's always going to be that one guy who ruins it for everyone. When you've got a game as popular as Pokemon Go, it turns out "that one guy" is actually "a whole lotta guys."
Things have gotten out of hand more than once with gamers interacting with other human beings out in the real world, like the massive altercation between Pokemon Go players and vets at a memorial park, or when players on opposing teams have decided to "mark" territory through graffiti and vandalism.
Some of the most obvious "dafuq" moments have come from holocaust memorial museums asking players to stop disrupting services by whipping out their phones and going Pokemon hunting.
Easily my favorite instance of a bizarre altercation occurred with Michael Baker, who reminds me of that now-forgotten viral internet sensation “Kai, straight outta Dogtown."
Michael was actually stabbed by an assailant... and then continued playing (after buying beer and snacks at a nearby convenience store). You're an inspiration Mr. Baker, and someone we all look up to here at GameSkinny.
The Game Itself
Perhaps the worst things to happen since the release of Pokemon Go are all within Pokemon Go itself, like those servers that just weren't quite up to the task at hand at launch.
Then of course, there's the fact that the game still has no ability to trade (an absolute staple of the series) and there's still less than 1/4 of all existing Pokemon available to be found.
The game is clearly in need of updating, but sometimes those updates themselves are the problem. Removing footsteps instead of fixing them probably wasn't the best move on Niantic's part.
We're at the end of our whirlwind tour of the world shattering apocalypse that is Pokemon Go, but don't worry, someone will show up all the previously mentioned folks and do something even more outrageous soon.
Seriously folks, before trespassing on somebody's land or getting yourself hurt, check out our guide on how to play this game while being respectful and aware of your surroundings.
Even with all the bad press, there's still been plenty of good to come from the game. Stay tuned because we've got an even crazier list coming soon that blows this one out of the water... the absolute BEST things to happen since the release of Pokemon Go!
Get ready to both drop your jaw in wonder AND have to scrub your precious eyes with bleach, because the Internet has not been slow to capitalize on the game's success with an awe-inspiring variety of awesome nonsense.