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'Something's not right': NFL player quits Pokemon after witnessing 'mind-control stuff' near ASU

Posted: 4:05 PM, Aug 02, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-03 12:41:55Z

In an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" called "The Game," the entire Enterprise crew becomes addicted to a game introduced by an evil faction as a means of mind control. The crew was ultimately saved by a young cadet who watched in horror as the ship's crew became willingly addicted one by one.

Last month, Larry Warford felt like he was in a similar situation. The Detroit Lions offensive lineman was a fan of Pokémon Go until something he saw near Arizona State University campus was enough to convince him to quit cold turkey.

The Detroit Free Press reported Warford was living in Tempe in early July when the Pokémon Go app was released. Like millions of others, he downloaded the app and began rounding up Pokémon near his residence.

That all changed for him during one disturbing day near ASU. 

"I'll tell you why I stopped playing it. I was walking down Mill Avenue in Tempe, pretty much on (ASU'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," Warford told the Detroit Free Press.

"It was a bunch of people playing it and I was like, 'I don't like this.'"

Warford later met a teammate at a restaurant who was also playing the game.

"I deleted it because I was like, 'This is some mind-control stuff.' I don't like it," he said. "They were playing it and I was like, 'Nope!' And I deleted it right there, right when I got to the restaurant."

Many people have become concerned about the safety issues the game presents, as players often don't pay attention while walking or driving. But for Warford, the concern obviously goes much deeper.

"Yeah, it's popular. But I don't like it," he said. "Something's not right."