By now you’ve surely heard of the latest craze sweeping the nation. PokÃ©mon Go has taken over. Nick Roush documented the craze at SEC Media Days here. People of all shapes, sizes, and colors have been huddling together in small groups with cell phones out looking for the creatures. Even Tim Duncan’s retirement was influenced by PokÃ©mon Go. When asked why he was calling it quits now, Duncan reportedly replied “I’ve done everything in the NBA. Now I want to catch ’em all.” The part of the game which is getting the most attention is that it promotes being active by requiring players to physically go to locations to capture and manage PokÃ©mon.
PokÃ©mon Go is a location-based cell phone game based on the wildly popular regular PokÃ©mon you already know about. It’s like geocaching or a scavenger hunt where the item you’re searching for is a character from the PokÃ©mon universe. Thanks to GPS and smart phones, the PokÃ©mon Go app maps out wherever you are and as you move through the world you discover PokÃ©mon living right in your neighborhood or town. When you come across the PokÃ©mon you simply flick your phone to toss a PokÃ© Ball and capture it. The big deal is that there are 151 different PokÃ©mon and like the Big Fundamental, you gotta catch ’em all.
Now, the game doesn’t end once you capture the PokÃ©mon; rather, that’s when it begins. After you’ve roamed the world, capturing these creatures like a 17th century British imperialist, you must train and evolve your PokÃ©mon. To do this you have to take your PokÃ©mon to a gym, which you can find on your GPS map. Once your PokÃ©mon has been trained and evolved (PokÃ©mon slang for upgraded) they become stronger and you can battle in the gym against other PokÃ©mon.
During this whole time of collecting and training, the player is moving around the great outdoors. Get a group of PokÃ©mon-playing friends together and head out for some searching. You know, taking the dog or kids for a walk is a lot more fun when you’re searching for PokÃ©mon. Dread going on that run? Why not make a game of it and chase some PokÃ©mon while chasing your dreams. My Fitbit stats have seen a marked improvement since the game’s release. Of course, searching for PokÃ©mon isn’t always a good time. As with any hunt, maybe you aren’t finding the PokÃ©mon you’re looking for. Perhaps the game is getting in the way of your job or school. Maybe this is your Facebook status.
There are definitely some ways the game can improve. PokÃ©mon Go is still kind of a bare bones game. The battle system has some room for growth and the ability to link up with friends on the game itself would be nice too. There have also been some buggy issues with the app, but that’s to be expected with a new game.
Overall my experience has been very positive. I wasn’t a PokÃ©mon fan until this game came out. Despite having no real understanding of the PokÃ©mon universe outside what I’ve absorbed through my friends’ experiences, I did not feel the game was exclusive. In fact I was really surprised at how easy it was to pick up. Perhaps the best part of the game is how inclusive it actually is. There’s just something nice about seeing groups of people positively interacting with each other. Whether it’s a group of friends or just random strangers who showed up at the same place looking for a PokÃ©mon, PokÃ©mon Go may just be the healing salve people need these days. Then again, this could just be a big government conspiracy to track everybody. ¯\_(ãƒ„)_/¯