If you’ve recently been on the internet or even out for a stroll in the park, chances are that you’ve already noticed a game by the name of Pokémon Go taking the world by storm. Since its release, tens and thousands of people around the globe have succumbed to the phenomenon. And if you’re someone to whom the name Pokémon is unheard of, you’ve probably raised an eyebrow or two at the flocks of players (read Pokémon trainers) armed with smartphones rummaging through streets, parks, rivers and national heritage sites in quest of virtual creatures called Pokémon. You might have wondered what the hell is going on, and here’s exactly everything that you need to know!
The Origin Story
Pokémon is a Nintendo franchise that has its genesis in mid-1990’s when Nintendo first published Pokémon Red and Green in Japan. It took off from there and the world of Pokémon and the franchise itself progressively grew through the decades. In the Poke-world, “Trainers” embark on a journey to catch monsters called Pokémon and use them to battle each other. As the franchise suggests, a trainer’s ultimate goal is to become a Pokémon master by catching ‘em all, and there-by defeating Gym leaders and the Elite Four.
What is Pokémon Go?
Every 90’s kid’s dreams turned to reality on July 6th 2016 when Niantic Labs released Pokémon Go – the latest and greatest installment of the Pokémon franchise in form of an augmented reality mobile game. And just days after its official release the application has already exploded in popularity and broken all records with millions of downloads worldwide; in turn adding $9 Billion in value to Nintendo’s stocks. Available for free on the IOS and Android App stores, the game pretty much makes use of the same concept as its predecessors on Nintendo’s handled consoles and the goal still invariably remains to catch ‘em all. However what’s revolutionary is the augmented reality, where trainers interact with real world objects to progress farther into the game.
The game makes use of the phone camera, GPS and clock to mix real world and game-play and present an augmented reality experience like no other. So if you are by the lake, you are more than likely to encounter water-type Pokémon, whereas strolling through parks and fields will lead you to more grass and bug-type Pokémon. Similarly, the dark of the night reveals more ghost and fairy type Pokémon’s that you can locate using your phone camera. Which means that you actually have to get on your feet and go around looking for Pokémon’s and explore the real world. This may explain the flock of entranced millennials and kids that you’ve probably noticed snooping around the neighborhood with their phones. The game also has Gyms and PokeStops often marked by real world locations such as monuments and churches; creating spots for trainers to meet and duel. Gyms are where trainers can battle gym leaders and gain experience. Whereas PokeStops are like digital shops where trainers use real money to buy items and supplies to help them level up in the game and catch rare Pokémons.
Why Is the Game So Massively Popular Today- 20 years from its genesis?
Simply put, the reason behind the Pokemon Go’s sensational popularity is that every 90’s kid with a Nintendo or Pokémon cards had been patiently waiting for this day to come. It taps into their nostalgia and is an embodiment of all the childhood dreams. The game is also free to download which makes it all the more accessible to people of all ages.
What’s Niantic and Google got to do with Pokemon Go?
John Hanke is the mastermind behind the Pokémon Go. He launched Niantic Lab in 2010 as a google funded startup to create game layer on maps. It was in 2014 that Google and Pokémon first partnered with Niantic Lab for an April fool’s Day joke, which allowed Google Maps users to spot Pokémon’s on the map. It was a viral hit and gave John the idea of turning that April fool’s day joke into an actual game someday- Fast-forward 3 years from then and we have the massively popular Pokemon Go breaking all application records left, right and center.
Go Catch ‘em All
Now that you’ve read through this post and have learned everything that there is to know about Pokémon Go, perhaps it’s time you give the app a shot and embark on your own Pokémon journey and travel far and wide, meet new people and become a Pokémon master you never thought you could be.
And always remember, Gotta Catch ‘em All!