So if you have not heard of the Pokemon Go App, you seriously have not been plugged in lately at all. Let me describe this game for you, if you have no idea what it is.
The Pokemon Go App was developed for Android and Apple product users, available for download through Google Play and the Apple Store. The app uses GPS location to allow you to catch pokemon in your own world. For example, we live in Oklahoma city and when James turns on the game it uses his location to tell him if there are any pokestops, battles, or pokemon in our area. Most of the pokestops are “places of interest” within the city. The nice thing about this is that it makes people go to different locations within the city (possibly places they have never been to) to play the game.
When you are looking down at your phone (seriously be aware of your surroundings people, no one needs to be hit by a car to catch a fictitious pokemon) the map your virtual player is standing on will show a pokemon in your area. You click on the pokemon to try to catch it. You can switch the camera to augmented reality (AR) and it will show the pokemon on the screen in the real world. Or rather, where it would be located in the real world if it was real. If you move your phone around the pokemon will disappear from view, kind of like if you are talking to someone and you turn your back on them. You can’t still see them because you are no longer looking at them. Your camera on your phone is no longer “looking” at the pokemon where your phone was positioned when you first turned the screen to AR. Anyways, you can take a photo of the pokemon in the virtual environment or where you found it in the real world. One guy found a squirtle in his toilet….
My fiance decided to download this app onto his phone a few days ago, and has been playing every day since then. He usually goes out at night driving to different locations to collect pokeballs and potions at designated “pokestops”. Tonight he went to the Will Rogers Park (a few blocks from our house) and saw at least 20 people also their playing the game. Oh did I forget to mention that it was around 10 o’clock at night. He “caught” a Rhyhorn while there.
Apparently while I was writing this, and trying to send the photo of the Rhyhorn to myself to add in here, he saw a Pidgey and took this picture….it is 2 o’clock in the morning right now….
My cat is laying down on his job…that Pidgey is standing on my laptop. This app seems to have the best benefit of getting people to get outside more, even though they are not really interacting with other people as much yet, they are at least out of their homes and moving around. Unfortunately, some people are having troubles with people coming into their front and back yards trying to catch pokemon that are on their property. I think i saw a news article about some people coming into police stations to catch pokemon.
POSITIVES of this app:
- people are getting off the couch and outside.
- people are getting exercise.
- people are possibly interacting with other people and making face to face connections.
- Fun game that is connecting people throughout the world.
- Free game for anyone to be able to play using an android or apple enabled phone.
- Catching pokemon in the real world has become a reality, which has been many people’s fantasy since the game first came out in 1996.
“The first Pokémon games, Pokémon Red and Green Versions, came to the Nintendo Game Boy system in Japan on February 27, 1996, which was the fulfillment of Satoshi Tajiri’s dream and allowed people of all ages to catch, train and trade 151 creatures and become a Pokémon Master” (History of Pokemon, n.d., para 5).
NEGATIVES of this app:
- People not being aware of their surroundings.
- Pile ups on the highways have been caused due to people wanting to play the game while driving….seriously don’t do this people please.
- Looking down while crossing the street can cause you get hurt.
- Walking in the middle of neighborhood roads instead of on the sidewalks or grass can cause serious issues for drivers coming in and out of the neighborhood, and potentially get people killed.
- Server overloads causing many people to have to wait an extended amount of time to play the game. The day the game came online the server crashed within a few minutes.
- Limited supply of extra items within the game that causes players to have to use real money to purchase extra items if they can’t wait until the next day to collect them. Such as an item (I cannot remember the name of at the moment) that allows you to just stand in one spot and the pokemon come straight to you. You receive two of these when you first start the game, and can win more in battles. If you use up the first two, and are not winning battles, then you will have to purchase this item with your own money. Many apps have this type of standard built-in to help the company receive some sort of money while still giving you the ability to play the game for free.
This game seems like it is a huge amount of fun for so many people out there playing it. I am extremely happy to see James get out of the house, even if he is not talking to anyone or connecting with people while out there. I do not have enough room on my own phone to download the game, nor do I have the time to play it at the moment, but I am so glad that so many people are having fun and connecting with one another! If you haven’t downloaded the game you should really do so and go catch them all yourself!
If you want to know more about the game you can check out information and video here: http://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-video-games/pokemon-go/
History of Pokemon (n.d.) Generation I: Taking over Japan. Retrieved from http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/History_of_Pok%C3%A9mon