Is your Facebook wall suddenly flooded with Pokemon Go updates? Do you feel like you are not part of the loop, but you still can’t ask your friends because you fear they’ll disown you for not knowing in the first place? Then friends, this is your complete guide to the newest rage that has taken over the Internet furiously.
Before we get into the specifics of Pokemon Go, put simply, it is a virtual-reality game that is available on all Android and iOS software. Most importantly, it is free. The game is a virtual reality-based chasing game that forces people to get out of their beds and sofas and start moving around for real.
What is the Game?
Pokemon is actually short for “pocket monster.” There are many different types of Pokemon (you might remember Pikachu as the most famous one), and the ultimate goal of the game is catch as many different kinds of Pokemon as possible.
Now get this. There is no real Pokemon. It is a magical reality, and when you find the Pokemon, it will appear on your phone. Turn on the location/GPS function on your smartphone and start following the slightly caricatured map of your neighborhood to “find” the nearest Pokemon. Even though there is no real Pokemon in front of you, because of the game’s superior technology, you will be able to see a ghostly Pokemon flapping over your worktable, your bag pack or your office building. Another catch: Only you can see it.
You Found Your Pokemon, What’s Next?
The next step is to own it. To trap the cartoony figures, you get a limited number of Pokeballs. Throw these balls at the wiggly monster by flicking your fingers on your phone to trap the Pokemon. It may sound easy and straightforward, but it is not. The little monsters are difficult to trap because they sure resist a lot. Once you have your Pokemon, you work on your avatars to level up in the game.
In order to get more Pokeballs, you walk into different Pokestops – interesting spots around your neighborhood. You are most likely to find a lot of other hidden Pokemon on your hunt to finding Pokeballs. And hence, the game keeps continuing…
Pokemon Go = Exercise?
Oh yes. This genius work of art is the perfect way to get the crowd up and moving. The game provides several incentives that can be achieved only by getting on your feet – the most obvious one being to get as many eggs as possible. The eggs are unhatched Pokemon that can be incubated as you walk 5 kms, 10 kms, and so on.
However, that hasn’t stopped users from using the game. Surprisingly, the younger and older generation have embraced this Nintendo-owned franchise so much that it has overtaken Twitter in terms of daily-active users. The Nintendo stock also has skyrocketed 25 percent already, adding about $5 billion to its market value.
“Dumb Ways to Die?”
There is widespread criticism regarding the safety concerns of being hooked to the game. Police has issued advisories to players to “look up, away from your phone and both ways before crossing the street.” In St. Louis, robbers have preyed on players engrossed in the game near the Pokestops. Phoenix police have warned against trespassing while playing the game. New York subway has warned users to not venture out on tracks to chase Pokemon. Missouri police arrested four people who lured unsuspecting users into a Pokestop only to rob them clean. In Wyoming, a female player stumbled upon a dead body while looking for Pokemon. Authorities near San Diego say two men fell from a cliff above a beach while playing the game on their cell phones.
In general, players have reported incidents of tripping, falling, spraining ankles, and getting into car accidents in their attempts to catch Pokemon and throw Pokeballs at them.
Large-Scale Meet-Up at Millennium Park This Weekend
Police has amped up security at Millennium Park as Pokemon Go Players have arranged a massive meet-up at the Bean this weekend. According to the Facebook page, at least 21,000 people will be showing up for the meet at 2 p.m. to play the game Sunday. But with users going by and far to put themselves in danger to capture Pokemon, the police are wary of the consequences of the meet.
“Make sure your phones are charged and if possible bring a power bank for your phone for back up,” reads the Facebook event page.
By Priyam Vora