Pokémon Go explained

Pokémon Go explained - Lovefone, London

If you don’t know what Pokémon Go is, you must be living under a rock. For once, not having internet or a social media account isn’t an excuse. You can see it just by leaving your house. Children, teens, adults, and the elderly alike can be seen wandering around public areas flicking Poké Balls at imaginary Japanese monsters invisible to the world but through the screen of their phone.

The good

Pokémon Go is a game that links up with your GPS to allow you to walk around the globe and catch Pokémon and battle other trainers (players) to take control of gyms. But the most interesting part of this game is the augmented reality (AR). When you catch Pokémon, your phone camera shows you what is actually in front of you… But with a little Pokémon right there waiting for you to throw a Poké Ball, and catch ‘em all.

When it comes to apps, this one is a goldmine. It is already more popular than Tinder. This app gives “seeing world through screen of your phone” a whole new meaning. It gives “glued to your phone” a new meaning. It gives “mobile gaming” a new meaning. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone stop mid-sentence, or mid-stride, only to pull out their phone and throw a Poké Ball or two, or five.

The bad

Ok, so what actual harm can this game do to you or your phone, besides the countless posts about how it can steal all your Google information? Well, if you’re playing the game (you are), you know that it can heat the crap out of your phone, cause you to ignore your surroundings, and really drain your battery.

Some even misunderstood the game, and threw their whole phone as this guy did above in this hilarious incident above! Sure, the game is fun, but when you can potentially break your precious smartphone just to play a mobile game, you may be spending a bit of extra money getting your smartphone repaired. Be careful, and get a nice smartphone case.

As with many mobile games, it can’t only break your phone, it can break your wallet. Despite it being a free-to-play game, it’s making a ton of money. It’s already climbed the top-grossing apps list.

The ugly

Image courtesy MagdaProski of Reddit.com

And we are seeing an overlap between augmented reality and… Well, reality. In-game “lures” have been known to lure people just as effectively as they lure Pokémon. And, just like Team Rocket, some will use Pokemon for evil.

The crazy

This game is so popular that those of us who don’t have the privilege of playing it just yet have found loopholes. Those of us in the UK, however, have had trouble playing simply because so many people are trying to download it!

Towns are even coming up with creative, productive, helpful ways to incorporate the game into their business, or even just the world in general. And as far as online popularity, it has one of the most active subreddits that I have ever seen. That should not be taken lightly. Nintendo’s stock has even climbed in these few days.

Will this game (if you can call it that at this point) just be a passing fad? Or will it continue to grow and become part of our everyday life? Only time can tell. But who knows, perhaps the new greeting will be “catch ‘em all,” instead of “hello,” or “goodbye.” Hell, the game might even have what it takes to become an e-sport. An AR Pokémon arena? Shut up and take my money!

August 04, 2016
Dia Ascenzi