The elderly man who was helped by Pokemon Go

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Pokemon Go took the world by storm in 2016. It was one of the most popular games in the world and took advantage of mobile innovations and augmented reality in a way no other application had done before. While everyone started to play the game most soon got bored. Yet a noble few have continued to search the landscapes of the world for rare pokemon. These people are the die-hard fans and while you would expect them to care about nothing but the need to “catch them all” two young boys showed incredible awareness on a recent pokemon hunt.

Daniel and Blake are both 13 years old and live in Auckland, New Zealand. Although most people have given up Pokemon hunting they still love it and allow their mobile devices to take them to obscure places in search of the biggest and best catches. Yet recently they were walking along the quiet streets of Auckland when they found something else. It wasn’t a pokemon but a man in need.

As Daniel and Blake approached a turn in a road, hoping to find a new Charizard to capture with their eyes glued to their phone. One boy saw an elderly man paused as a zebra crossing. He was visibly shaking and the boy immediately knew he was in trouble. The boys approached the man and asked if he was ok. Although the man had a frame to assist his walking, he was clearly struggling. The boys decided to put their phones away and help the man instead. They helped him to sit on the frame and slowly pushed him across the street. 

When they were about halfway across the busy street the traffic lights turned green and cars were about to start driving again. One of the boys moved quickly and stood in front of the cars so that they couldn’t go, ensuring the man had time to cross fully with the help of the other boy. After talking to the man they learned that he was going to the train station nearby. They decided to make him the entire journey with him where they spoke to a  security officer and ensured that he would be helped on to his train when it arrived. The boys were delighted that they got to help the man and pleased to discover that the train station was a hotspot for rare pokemon.

The boys continued to hunt and the man got home safely. Today, many people question the advances in technology and what it is doing for the minds of our young people. The truth is that for many generations there have been plenty of distractions available but good people remain good people. People like to post photos of passengers on trains and how everyone is looking at their phones instead of communicating, yet in times gone by everyone had a newspaper in front of their faces and still paid no attention to each other. In the home, teenagers spend all their time on social media, but they once spent it all on the phone. Technology is simply a medium and people will use it how they see fit.

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Technology played a role in helping an elderly man on this faithful day as if the kids had not been out hunting pokemon they could have been at home instead. Modern innovations in technology can actually be used to engage more with society. Pokemon Go got a whole generation outside and exploring their neighborhoods. Instead of rejecting technology and chastising it for its impact on youth, maybe we should harness it to make everything better?

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