All right so there has been a lot of attention drawn towards the app that’s making gamers leave the comfort of their homes to go and play their video games outside. People have been talking about Pokémon GO since the moment the rumors were leaked to be making said game.
To recap, just in case you’ve missed one of the biggest franchises in the Nintendo Universe, each generation of video gamers has witnessed a new release of some form of a Pokémon game. Let’s do a slight timeline of a few of the games, shall we?
- 1998, Step 1 of getting gamers to interact with other people: Pokémon Red and Blue allowed gamers to trade and battle with their friends by linking their Gameboy’s with a GBA Link Cable. You just need to link the Gameboy’s together in order for this to work.
- 2010, Step 2 of getting gamers to interact with others because Step 1 wasn’t effective: Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver came with a Pokéwalker which allowed Pokémon trainers to level up and transfer their Pokémon with a tiny little Pokéball that clipped onto your pants. You just need to go for a walk in order for your Pokémon to level up.
- 2011, Step 3 of getting gamers to interact with others because they thought last year would work for sure but it didn’t so they had to try a different method: Pokémon Black and White stepped up their interaction game and made it easy to battle friends wherever you are, regardless of whether you’re in the Pokémon Center or not. Hey. Look at that. Interaction via wireless settings. Go exchange friend codes and play with your friends.
- 2013, Step 4 of getting gamers to interact with others because apparently gamers have no friends so this method didn’t work either: Pokémon X and Y took the internet settings on the DSi to a whole new level by allowing gamers to find friends via streetpass. Pokémon trainers don’t even need to search for other players anymore because the DSi does it for them. All you need to do is be in the same location as someone else who is playing Pokémon X and Y and you get rewards for doing so.
- 2016, Step 5 of getting gamers to interact with others because clearly all of the other steps did not go according to plan: Pokémon GO allows Pokémon trainers to catch Pokémon just outside of their homes! Go for a walk and catch other Pokémon! Be on the same team as your friends and challenge the gym which is located at different spots! JUST GO OUTSIDE AND TALK TO PEOPLE.
Do you get why Nintendo and Game Freak are pushing Pokémon GO so much now? The companies have tried in the past to get gamers to interact, but people always found a way to either cheat the system or not even interact at all. The app is actually forcing people to leave their homes and interact with human beings which is a good sign. I am a gamer myself and honestly I don’t like leaving the house because I know that I have every game console and every game cartridge in America in my basement. Why leave home and step out into the real world when I have tons of fantasy worlds in my tv screen? There used to be no point in leaving, but now there is. The beauty of Pokémon GO is that it brings the fantasy world into reality. Now there’s a reason why I walk two towns away from home, and that’s to catch Pokémon.
Now here’s some of my Pokémon GO adventures; When the app was first released, my dad and I were sitting in the car, leaving CVS Pharmacy. As we stop at the stop sign, my dad notices this male teenager who looks oddly familiar to him. I turn to see who the boy is, and it took me just a few moments before I realized that the kid skateboarding down the street was my sister’s friend. He was making his way towards the pharmacy, not to pick up necessary goods, but to catch Pokémon.
Another experience I had was just the other day when a group of friends and I decide to go to the carnival. Of course, the whole ride there was the four of us constantly checking down at our phones to see if there are any Pokémon near by. The whole time we were out and about, one of my friends decides to scream “Are you playing Pokémon GO?” which eventually just got shortened to screaming the name of the app at anyone on their phones. On our way to the carnival, we run into my brother’s friend who is also looking down at his phone. My friend notices him and screams “Pokémon GO?” My brother’s friend shows us his phone screen and asks “How did you know?” And he walks away, continuing his adventure. You can just tell whenever someone is playing the app. It’s like this weird connection gamers have. Or maybe we just assumed that every person staring at their phones while wearing a backwards baseball cap was playing Pokémon GO. Later on that day when we were going back to my friend’s house, this car sees my friend group and I and pulls over to the side of the road. The driver rolls down his window and screams “Pokémon GO?” at us. We all turn to see one of our other friend’s driving around his younger brother while playing Pokémon GO.
As opposed to me running into my fellow gaming friends, Shayla Wiggins, a 19-year-old from Wyoming, ran into a dead body. The female teenager was playing Pokémon GO during her morning walk in order to catch Pokémon when she discovered a man’s body faced down in the river. So not only does the app actually work and get gamers to leave the house, but it also helped find the body of a missing person. Who knows what Pokémon GO will hold in store for us next.