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PokemonGo: This Week’s Zombie Addiction (2/2)

July 16, 2016

This is the second part of a new collection of some of this week’s “zombies”. There are two posts in this dump. I hope to also add a third post of explanation later. As always, there are more “zombies” @LawZombie on Twitter.

As stated in the previous post: In the past few days there have been two viral media “zombie” news developments: PokemonGo and an outbreak of bad synthetic marijuana, called K2, in Brooklyn. Neither the idea of social media zombies or drug zombies is new. Nor is either’s association with youth culture or hipster Brooklyn culture, or augmented reality, fantasy worlds, being zoned out. Still there is some irony in the legal fake marijuana being more dangerous than the illegal natural plant product. And in public safety officials denigrating the popular activities of the public, as if the public is “stupid” instead of that stupidity being what they are to protect and serve. Both stories highlight a paradox of addictive behavior and questions of protecting people from themselves. Also the Streisand effect that insulting it may promote it. Although, maybe that’s somebody’s goal? The GPS data in PokemonGo will be a boon for law enforcement, and K2 Zombie has a lobbying group.

So, the previous post listed the K2 zombies and in this post, the PokemonGo zombies. Both of these posts are simply collections of a lot of media links from the past few days. Either the title of the article has “zombie” or the text used “zombie”.

So let’s begin:

TechAeris: “Pokémon GO: Everything a non-player needs to know“:

It’s been almost a week and you’ve noticed weird things. Strange things. People are suddenly everywhere, staring at their phones, babbling and making strange sounds. Some are overly excited and making noises that sound like a sneeze. No, this isn’t the zombie apocalypse. It’s the Poképocalypse!

CityLab: “This New App Reminds Distracted Pedestrians to Look Up From Their Phones“:

“It’s starting to feel like a smartphone zombie apocalypse—there are so many people looking down at their phones and missing out on the city around them,” he says.

CNET: “Pokemon Go safety tips from police include ‘do not run into trees’“:

I’ve been confronted over the last 48 hours with strange, zombie-like people wandering with apparent aimlessness around my neighborhood.

KIMATV: “Pokémon Go: The new distracted driving app“:

If you see Zombie-like people walking down the street, holding their arms straight out in front of them and waving their phones like a searchlight, chances are they’re playing Pokémon Go.

Bustle: “The First Step To Being A Master Of The Viral Gaming Sensation“:

Don’t worry, there is definitely not a zombie plague sweeping the nation. Those folks walking around, eyed glued to their phones and occasionally looking around frantically are probably playing the viral gaming sensation Pokemon GO.

710Keel:”Pokemon GO…For Dummies [VIDEO]

So, as you drive around town and see more and more kids, walking zombie-like, faces buried in their phones, at least now you’ll know the basics of the game they’re playing.

BlastingNews: “Pokémon Go has city streets filled with zombie-like walkers staring at their phones“:

Pokémon Go has turned the streets and sidewalks of major cities into a scene usually reserved for zombie movies and shows. People are walking unaware of their surroundings while staring down at their smartphones full of Pokémon Go directions. There’s no better evidence of the Pokémon Go zombie effect than there is in New York City’s Central Park.

Toronto24hours: “Pokemon Go: Has the world lost its mind?“:

North America has been invaded. It’s not the Russians or North Koreans– it’s much, much worse. Pokémon has taken over and forced millions of people to succumb to a zombie-like state, seeming to wander around aimlessly with their heads buried in their phones.

Observer-Reporter: “Poke … what?“:

Apparently, the game places Pokemon characters at coordinates all over the map. Using their phones, the Pokemon chasers follow signals and signs to locate the little creatures and clobber them with a red ball. This explains the roving groups of kids walking, zombie-like with heads down, through neighborhoods. It also explains, sadly, why I’ve seen more than the usual number of drivers with the phones in their hands, which has to be some diabolically more treacherous version of distracted driving.

MediaPost: “Pikachus And Zombies“:

Players literally look like zombies because they’re physically moving around, yet clearly experiencing something that doesn’t quite line up with the world around them. They’re in another world.

Patch: Pokémon Go Players Save Home, Family Dog from Fire

Royal Oak is a popular destination for people playing the game, and the library adjacent to City Hall is a Pokémon gym. “All these kids,” Davids said. “It’s like a zombie apocalypse walking toward our building.”

Commercial prospects, get them in but make them buy:

DesMoinesRegister: “Some Des Moines stores: No ‘Pokemon Go’ unless you are a customer

Zombie Burger had a picture of a similar sign posted on its Facebook page.

NatchezDemocrat: “Is future of tourism in Pokémon Go?“:

As much as I might be amused watching people wander around a bit like zombie in an alternative universe, it wasn’t until I bumped into a local tour operator that I realized that there might be an added benefit to this new craze.

NZherald: “NZ could be major player in augmented reality

If you’ve been out in your local neighbourhood this week, you may have wondered if the zombie apocalypse was upon us. All over New Zealand, people are wandering around with their arms extended, staring at their smartphones, stopping only to frantically swipe their screen then continuing on, seemingly oblivious to their surroundings

POLICE and official warnings:

WWMT: “Public officials warn Pokemon Go players about trespassing“:

A zombie Pokemon Go apocalypse is upon us.

Polygon: “Police are warning Pokémon Go players to stay safe after injuries, dangerous encounters“:

Other departments, like Vancouver’s police force, said it was concerning to see large groups of players in a “zombie-like” state, wandering the city at all hours of the night. In a statement, Constable Brian Montague said players need to remember that they’re still in the real world and they need to take in their surroundings. Being unaware of what’s happening around you, he said, could lead to physical injury or dangerous situations.

BostonGlobe: “Don’t let your Pokémon game lead you into danger“:

Police added that they’ve received reports of zombie-like players fixated on their screens wandering into busy streets, perhaps in an attempt to snag a Rattata, a rat-like Pokémon — or maybe a Gastly?

DailyStar: “ Pokemon WARNING: Obsessed gamers need to read this“:

Branches across the country have been mobbed by zombie-like gamers running down the aisles in search of the virtual monsters.

MyPolice: “Pokémon Go, also known as the Pokémon zombie apocalypse

Newsday: “NYPD’s Bill Bratton says he’d like Pokemon craze to go away

“I haven’t the faintest interest in that stupid craze,” Bratton told reporters. “I think too many people have been watching the zombie shows on TV. Basically our millennials seem fascinated about making themselves walking zombies looking for Pokemon.”

Gothamist: “Bratton: Millennials Need To Stop Playing That ‘Stupid’ Pokémon Go Game“:

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton hates a lot of things: rap music, rappers, the Black Lives Matter movement, the City Council, cell phone cameras, weed, and staying in NYC on the weekends, just to name a few. Now, something new has earned Bratton’s ire—Pokémon Go, the “stupid” augmented reality app that’s turning Millennials into “walking zombies,” or maybe that’s K2, who can keep track of the fads these days!

In fact, the only thing dumber than Pokémon Go are those dumb idiot millennials (and on-duty cops!) that play it, apparently. “I think too many people have been watching the zombie shows on TV and basically our millennials seem to be fascinated with making themselves walking zombies,” he said. “It’s like looking for a tooth fairy.”

With drugs?:

Leafly: “Catch These 7 Cannabis Strains for Your Next Pokémon GO Session” (oh great, because that makes it safer!):

Have you noticed more people walking around your neighborhood swiping on their cell phone in an almost zombie-like-state recently? Chances are, that person is trying to catch ‘em all on the new gaming app Pokémon GO, which his already been installed more times in its first week than the dating app Tinder in its five years of existence.

Demographic differences – rural vs. urban:

Inverse: “It’s Possible to Lose at ‘Pokemon Go’ Permanently, If You’re Broke“:

Playing Pokémon Go out in the sticks is tough. It turns the cutesy mobile game into a high stakes cage match. City dwellers don’t know the pressure of trying to slowly grind your way up the Pokémon ladder when you’re given resources at the same rate bullets are handed out in a zombie apocalypse.

more drinking and sex:

EliteDaily: “This Pokémon Go Drinking Game Gets You Trashed On Your Quest To Catch ‘Em All

Really though, the closest corollary to it is a zombie virus — there suddenly came a day when packs of wandering, silent figures, migrated blank-faced from place to place, searching endlessly, hungrily for something you can’t see.

TheTimes: “Pokémon? It’s cruising without the sex“:

James is sensing it might be a really good way to pick up girls. They call themselves “trainers”. You can spot them by their zombie shuffle.

Playing at work (and again, police!):

EHSToday: “Sincerely Stefanie: Pokémon NO! Protecting Your Workers from Digital Zombies“:

They were completely oblivious to their surroundings (hence the term “digital zombies”).

Fighting the digital zombie apocalypse is only possible with collaboration between employers, workers and safety managers.

Gawker: “Four NYPD Cops Are Under Investigation for Apparently Playing Pokémon Go On-Duty

The malware (as if the game itself isn’t the hacking life itself):

BDlive: “Pokemon Go not legal in SA yet but that is unlikely to stop local players“:

According to a statement by IT security company Sophos‚ there is already one “malware” remix of the Pokemon Go app out there. “The ‘remix’ is deliberately poisoned with an Android spyware/RATware/zombie toolkit that hides malware code inside a fully functional and otherwise identical-looking version of the original app‚” the company said in a statement. It is better to wait until the official South African release.

NakedSecurity: “Fake Pokémon GO app watches you, tracks you, listens to your calls“:

In fact, the crooks have gone there already, with at least one hacked “malware remix” of the official Pokémon GO app doing the rounds.
The “remix” is deliberately poisoned with an Android spyware/RATware/zombie toolkit that hides malware code inside a fully-functional and otherwise identical-looking version of the original app.

Did anyone even notice this other zombie game, alternative VR game:

NPR: “‘Walking Dead’ Town To Get Zombie Geocache Trail

The AMC series The Walking Dead is shot around Woodbury, Ga., and officials there launched a game called Zombie GeoQuest. Fans can use GPS devices to find virtual treasures.

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