The Complete List Of Obvious Pokemon Go Story Cliches, So You Don't Have To Write Them.

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 10.854% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

As a former slush reader, I can tell you that lots of writers get their ideas from the news.  Right now, Pokemon Go is in all the headlines, and so every science-fiction and fantasy writer is writing a story that’s a spin on Pokemon Go.
Don’t make that spin obvious.  It’s going to be a lot harder to get your story published if it’s got the same plot we’ve seen six times this week.  And I can tell you from experience that in the months to come, magazines will see tons of stories with the following plotlines:
A Pokemon Go-style game is an evil plot designed to lure humans to their de –
Kris Straub did it?
Well, I think my point’s been made.  If you want to be published – and I love it whenever a new writer gets published! – you’re going to have to work harder than the first ideas that come to mind.
But if you want more examples of the obvious twists slush readers will be seeing a lot of in the near future:
A lonely/abused child discovers his Pokemon Go-style capture is a real actual talking friend, and their new magical buddy humiliates and/or beats up the meanest character in the story.
A Pokemon Go-style game turns out to be the work of leprechauns (or fairies, or whatever) wanting to teach humans to accept finding magical creatures everywhere. 
A Pokemon Go-style game turns out to be the work of evil demons using the game to teach children in the secret ways of HATRED, even though honestly most of the people I’ve seen playing Pokemon Go personally have been in their early twenties.  
Pokemon Go-style creatures have real thoughts, and their own desires when humans aren’t looking, and yet none of them seem to realize this is the plot of Toy Story!   
A Pokemon Go-style game alienates a boy from his friends and he learns the amazing power of books.
Civilization has collapsed because every last human was playing Pokemon Go and nobody else mystically did anything, so now we’re all crawling through the ruins looking for Pikachu.  (Optional variant: A Very Smart Person tries to warn person about the dangers of a Pokemon Go-style game, and is ignored, and everyone is soooo foolish!  For extra chunky in your salsa, combine that with Pokemon Go-style games are the work of evil aliens and/or demons!)
A boy is sucked into the world of Pokemon Go, and now HE is the one who must be caught, and learns a valuable lesson about cruelty to animals.  
Maybe WE are all living in a virtual videogame, did you ever think of that?  Cooooool.
Pokemon Go-style… rape.  Someone will do it.  Someone always wants to tell the rape story.  Nobody ever buys them.
Pokemon Go-style characters comment about how silly the lives of humans are!  (We don’t have an actual plot here, just Squirtle making Seinfeld-style observations.)
A Pokemon Go-style game is a secret test by mysterious aliens to prove who really has the guts to catch them all.  (Although, you know, Ernie Cline got paid millions for that plot, so maybe you can do it too!)
I don’t mean to scorn, writers.  I bring up Ernie Cline at the end because if you write well enough, you can put a good spin on the hoariest concept.  But slush readers are going to be seeing a lot of stories like this, and even if you’re writing the best possible spin on this, an overworked slush reader may write you off because you sound too much like the last seven stories they’ve heard on this.
There’s good ideas for Pokemon Go out there.  Be inspired!  But be next-level inspired.  Think of an idea, and wonder if anyone else has thought of it, and take it to the next level.  Maybe the Pokemon Go AI has become sentient, and it doesn’t want to take over the planet or save a special child or make twee observations, so… what interesting things could it want?   Maybe the Pokemon Go changes society in fascinating ways – it already is – but that change is not as simplistic as “Pokemon Go leads us to the Rapture” or “Pokemon Go destroys civilization,” but rather has a subtle effect that leads to more unique story ideas than “save” or “break.”
You’ve got a good source material, here.  Now take it somewhere nobody but you is going to take it, write it, and submit it everywhere until, as they say in the Viable Paradise Workshop, “Until hell won’t have it!”
And good luck.
(But seriously, don’t write the “Pokemon Go is the lure of the devil” story.  Kris Straub’s done it.)

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