A teen battles in Pokemon Go at Grand Avenue Park in Everett on July 14, 2016. He was far from alone playing the augmented reality smartphone app game during the weekday afternoon. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

A teen battles in Pokemon Go at Grand Avenue Park in Everett on July 14, 2016. He was far from alone playing the augmented reality smartphone app game during the weekday afternoon. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Who’s afraid of the big, bad Pokémon Go?

Car crashes, muggings, people walking around like zombies. From all the news accounts, you’d wonder why anyone would risk playing Pokémon Go.

Our latest poll at HeraldNet.com asked what you think of the phenomenon that has people everywhere swiping at their phones, and 36 percent said they just don’t get it. Another 11 percent gave us write-in votes, mostly saying it was A) stupid, B) idiotic or C) a waste of time. I think we can safely put these folks in the “don’t get it” camp as well.

Then there are the worry warts – the 11 percent who said it’s dangerous. Just this week, Boeing banned the game, saying a distracted worker nearly caused an accident. A Herald editorial took the game to task, saying it was a class-action lawsuit waiting to happen, that it lures players into dangerous situations, and that it threatens bodily harm to people who might walk into poles. It also instructed children to “get off my lawn.”

Thirty percent in our poll said they’ve been playing, and another 12 percent are intrigued. Why would they put themselves in such peril?

Here’s why: because it’s fun, and despite the hysteria, it just might be good for you.

Pokémon don’t just come to you. You have to walk around and catch them. As many have said online, it’s done more to get kids off the couch in a few days than Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program has in eight years. Parents and children are playing together. People are exploring their communities, making new friends, and visiting local businesses that are smart enough to set up “lures.”

And what about those dangers? They all boil down to common sense. Don’t walk into a dark alley; don’t let kids wander off unattended; don’t try to build airplanes while playing. And above all, don’t walk into a pole – unless you want strangers to laugh at you.

— Doug Parry, parryracer@gmail.com; @parryracer

On we go, from one hyped-up technological disaster to another oncoming one.

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