Like millions of Americans, Warford became instantly addicted to the location-based augmented reality game app when it was released to the public in early July. But Warford came to an important realization during a walk to lunch one day. The game was slowly ... silently ... shockingly stripping him of his humanity.
"I'll tell you why I stopped playing it," Warford explained Monday, via the Detroit Free Press. "I was walking down Mill Avenue in Tempe, Ariz., pretty much on (Arizona State's) campus. ... I was walking down and literally everyone that was on their cell phone walking down that same street was playing Pokémon Go. I was looking at their screens and it was about 30, 40 people walking down Mill (Avenue).
"It was a bunch of people playing it and I was like, 'I don't like this.' I deleted it because I was like, 'This is some mind-control stuff.' I don't like it."
During his walk, Warford bumped into a Lions teammate. He, too, was playing Pokémon. Think of every zombie movie where the protagonist frantically searches for loved one only to find they all now exclusively ingest brains. This was Warford's reality.
"I was like, 'This is bad, this is bad,' " he said. "They were playing it and I was like, 'Nope!' And I deleted it right there, right when I got to the restaurant. The funny thing is, the people I was eating with, they were playing it, too."
If they ever reboot The Twilight Zone, this would be an excellent pilot episode. Forget global warming, ISIS and homegrown demagogues. The real danger is the monster we can't see.