Larry Warford is detaching himself from the fun (and dangers) of playing Pokémon Go, unlike many others across the world today who are raving about the app. The Detroit Lions offensive guard wants to focus his mind and energy on football, and he understandably should because the NFL preseason kickoff is set for this upcoming weekend.
On the day of its release to the public in early July, Warford admitted that he downloaded the app while at the Lions training camp in Tempe, Arizona. After he fought a Bulbasaur but couldn’t catch a treasured Charmander, Warford called it quits and deleted the app for good the day after. He found himself heavily addicted to the experience within a day and noticed how bad his friends and strangers were mentally and emotionally enslaved to the location-based virtual reality game. He said the game is too addictive and even claimed that Pokemon Go has the ability to assert "mind control" over people who play it constantly.
Warford explained to the Detroit Free Press on Monday his experience with the game and seeing the people of Tempe become like Walking Dead zombies with smartphones in their hands chasing Pokémon Go characters.
"I’ll tell you why I stopped playing it. 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."
He even detailed how he went to meet one of his friends for dinner at a restaurant in Tempe and saw him playing the game as well. "I was like, 'This is bad, this is bad,'" Warford 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."
Analytics firm SensorTower estimated in late July that the Pokémon Go app had been downloaded 75 million times. And Warford reaffirmed that he won't be under the spell of Pikachu, Blastoise, or Lapras. Warford added, "Yeah, it’s popular. But I don’t like it. Something’s not right."