Pokemon Go

‘Pokémon GO Is A No-Go At My House’ Say Pastors [Update]

The Pokémon GO app has truly become a worldwide phenomenon of popularity, but not everyone is a fan. Pastor Rick Wiles recently made claims that the app is unleashing “cyber-demons.” Then there is Ricky Scaparo, a former pastor and founder of International Ministry End Time Headlines who says that “Pokémon GO is a ‘No-Go’ at my house.”

Posting his views on Charisma, Scaparo says that the seemingly innocent game is anything but. “Sounds harmless right? Not so fast!,” Scaparo says.

In the article, Scaparo explains to anyone who has been living under a rock in the past week what Pokémon GO is all about, as well as the origins of Pokémon itself.

“The word ‘Pokémon’ is a contraction of two Japanese words, ‘poketto’ and ‘monsut,’ or ‘pocket monsters’ in English,” explains Scaparo. “So what does the term ‘monster’ mean? According to Webster’s dictionary, it defines the term ‘monster’ as ‘a strange or horrible imaginary creature.’ Pokémon was created by Nintendo in Japan in 1996. It was a role-playing game involving cards, similar to the popular game Dungeons and Dragons.”

Scaparo goes on to explain some of the legitimate dangers of playing the game involving robberies that have occurred involving some players who were lured to specific locations just to have their wallets stolen and sloppiness of the app’s permission settings. However, Scaparo seems more concerned about the spiritual content of Pokémon GO while also acknowledging that many will not agree with him about the game’s dangers.

“As believers do we really want our children messing with games dealing with pocket monsters using special powers, and what about our teens who are able to drive? Do we really need more distractions for them while they are behind the wheel? The bottom line is once again a new fad has come to town and as always the masses are flocking to it, not regarding any consequences. I realize many will not agree with these assessments but as for me and my house, Pokémon GO is a ‘No-Go’ at my house.”

As to be expected, some are not siding with Scaparo’s spiritual concerns for Pokémon GO.

“First, it’s called pretend. Pocket Monsters aren’t real; nor are their special powers. If you have a problem with something so silly, then I am curious, do you prohibit all forms of imaginative games in your home?” says Sean in the column’s comment section.

Jason echoed the sentiment.

“It’s sad how Christians are fine with make-believe stories about magic when it suits them (Narnia, Lord of the Rings, ect) but quickly demonize anything that doesn’t fit their agenda.”

Shawn, however, was a balance between the two.

“While I really don’t want to comment on the ridiculous notion of your religious boogeymen using the game to influence children, I do feel obligated to point out that the matter of the app permissions was a mistake on Niantic’s part, and they have since, of their own accord, released control of their extensive permissions list, and now only has access to the bare few basic permissions it needs to function. So that is no longer an issue.”

That probably won’t sit well with Wiles who told his radio program audience of the evil dangers of Pokémon GO. According to RawStory, Wiles called his local police last week when he spotted a middle-aged man taking pictures outside of his TruNews offices. The police told him that he was playing the game, but Wiles truly believes something more sinister is at hand.

“These Pokémon creatures are like virtual, cyber-demons,” Wiles said. “What this man, Friday, was trying to find was the Pokémon demon that had been placed inside the Trunews office. What if this technology is transferred to Islamic jihadists, and Islamic jihadists have an app that shows them where Christians are located geographically?”

Wiles continued his rant describing the “pocket monsters” as “cyber-demons.”

“The enemy, Satan, is targeting churches with virtual, digital, cyber-demons. I believe this thing is a magnet for demonic powers.”

Wiles continued with “At what point does this game go live and the Pokemon masters are telling people to kill people in those buildings? People are losing touch with reality.”

While some will view Scaparo’s and Wile’s views extreme, there have been plenty of news stories reported this week about the negative effects of playing the game.

Yesterday, the Inquisitr reported that two men, who are in their twenties, fell off a cliff north of San Diego, California, while playing Pokémon GO. According to the report, the two were using the app and following a critter located between streets “E” and “F” when they fell 75 to 100 feet off the cliff. Thankfully, the two only received minor injuries.

In another report, a woman from Tarentum, Pennsylvania, says that 15-year-old daughter was struck by a car while playing the game. Autumn Deisroth was crossing the street and distracted by the game when she was hit. The teen wasn’t the first to be admitted to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC because of playing Pokémon GO, said the hospital.

“The Pokémon GO reality game took her across a major highway at 5 o’clock in the evening, which is rush hour,” said the girl’s mother. “I really thought I was losing my daughter. No game is worth a child’s life.”

[Photo by AP Images]

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