It’s been more than a little amusing to see the public bewildered by the sudden appearance of roaming packs of people ranging in age from 7 to 70+, all staring intently at their phones, at all hours of the day.
Pokémon GO, the new free-to-play mobile game which has smashed records since it’s release on July 6th, is based on the perennially popular Pokémon games from Nintendo. It was developed by Niantic and is very similar in format to their previous ARG, Ingress. Many of the Pokéstops in Pokémon GO were manually submitted by millions of users for Ingress capture nodes, re-purposed for the new game.
In this iteration of the game, the Pokémon appear superimposed in the real world via your smartphone’s camera. Players aim the Pokéball with a flick of their finger at a targeting circle around each Pokémon.
Pokéstops are found at small landmarks such as statues and fountains, dropping various goodies such as extra Pokéballs, potions, and eggs that can be hatched. Gyms are sites where public battles are waged between the three factions available to players.
Though it’s impossible to tell what kind of longevity the game will have so early into it’s release, people all over the country have been talking excitedly about being motivated to exercise for the first time in a long will. Particularly inspiring are the people sharing how it has helped them cope with depression or anxiety, getting out of the house and into the fresh air with other players.
While the game is fun and has fostered many positive interactions between people from a variety of ages and backgrounds, I do have to point out that a small percentage of people have been less than stellar ambassadors of this game. With that in mind: