A Woke Blerd Explains Why 'Pokémon Go' Is A Death Sentence For Black Users
Writer Omari Akil summed up some problems users of color might endure on the "augmented reality" game.
A writer's interpretation of Pokémon Go has gained a lot of attention after he pointed out some harsh realities African-Americans could endure while playing the critically adored game.
When you think of video games, normally the thought of getting arrested for playing them doesn't come across your mind. However, in times where people of color have lost their lives over the many trivial reasons below, Pokémon Go could be added to the list.
In a post to Medium, Omari Akil penned "Warning: Pokémon GO is a Death Sentence if you are a Black Man, " explaining his hesitation to enjoy the app in public. In case you haven't heard, "Pokémon Go" allows you to collect and fight with Pokémon you can catch in the real world. It also allows you to form teams with friends.
"I spent less than 20 minutes outside. Five of those minutes were spent enjoying the game. One of those minutes I spent trying to look as pleasant and nonthreatening as possible as I walked past a somewhat visibly disturbed white woman on her way to the bus stop. I spent the other 14 minutes being distracted from the game by thoughts of the countless Black Men who have had the police called on them because they looked “suspicious” or wondering what a second amendment exercising individual might do if I walked past their window a 3rd or 4th time in search of a Jigglypuff."
Akil has reminded his readers he doesn't think the game has introduced new problems in society, but the thought of being profiled by police while playing an interactive game is worrisome. "The premise of Pokemon GO asks me to put my life in danger if I chose to play it as it is intended and with enthusiasm," he writes. "Let’s just go ahead and add Pokemon GO to the extremely long list of things white people can do without fear of being killed, while Black people have to realistically be wary."
So far, the game has made headlines in a bizarre way. Just days after it's release, a young woman from Wyoming discovered a dead body while looking for a water Pokémon in a riverbank. On Sunday (July 10), three men from Missouri were arrested after they used the app to rob victims with a handgun.
Check out Akil's post, in full, here.