The need to “Catch them all” is sweeping across the world. The culprit? Pokemon Go, of course.
Just last week the game was placed on the apple store and has already been downloaded over 15 million times. Currently it is #1 on the app store highest grossing app list and has gained significant nationwide attention. This simple app has managed to get people from computer geeks to school kids to explore the nearby parks and get walking around.
Pokemon Go is a game made by Niantic which is known for its very similar game called Ingress. Pokemon Go uses your phone’s GPS location to track you in the real world and show you nearby locations, gyms, poke stops, and nearby Pokemon. The game encourages walking around in order to get to pokestops, which are basically “goody” locations where you can get potions, eggs, and pokeballs. You can battle other players and their Pokemon at gyms, and can train your Pokemon if the gym is controlled by your team (either Mystic, Valor, or Instinct). While walking you will come across Pokemon, which you can catch, and the game allows you to hatch your own.
This game has in-app purchases, which given its popularity, has raised Nintendo’s stocks by 10%, and gives them on average 2 million US dollars a day. One of the items you can buy is a ‘lure’ which you can place at a pokestop and attracts Pokemon right to you for a half hour. Different shops that happened to have pokestops within a short distance from them have used lures to attract people to their businesses, and some have even offered Pokemon deals and themed food to attract the gamers to buy from their shop. The lures have also caused several known issues, however, since they attract people with phones to an area for the game. Two thieves were caught following and using lures to steal people’s phones and valuables in an armed robbery recently, a sign that the game has perhaps a few issues.
Another danger present from the game is that people are occasionally crossing roads without looking. One man in San Diego even fell off a cliff, his head buried in his phone and paying no attention. While Pokemon Go has done a great job of getting people out and on the streets again, it certainly presents a few difficulties (we won’t even go into the servers).
If you haven’t gotten the game yet, here’s some advice: When they give you an option to choose your first Pokemon they will show you three starters. Be like Ash in the Pokemon series and walk away from them multiple times until your “late” and have to choose a Pikachu (wish I knew this one).
Well good luck Catching them all!