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If the words “Pikachu” or “Pokemon” make you go “huh”, then the new Pokemon craze is definitely an unnerving surprise. Recently released in the U. S., Pokemon GO is already a phenomenon, especially amongst millennials.
It’s the best in augmented reality as everywhere you go, someone is muttering at their phone about catching a “rattata” or a “pidgey” — flocking to churches and landmarks citywide to stock up on potions and pokeballs. Ok, we see you’re still confused. For the many few who have absolutely no clue why Pokemon GO is really a big deal, then we’re here to break down the tizzy; so even a four-year-old can understand it. So read on for the Poke-scoop.
- Pokemon GO Augments Your Reality: Pokemon GO is an augmented reality game, meaning through the app, users can find little creatures called pokemon in the “real world.” A smart phone acts as a conduit for the user to see these creatures in reality and also serves as a map to lead the user to real world locations that coincide to not-so-real pokemon and pokestops. We see we’ve lost you, but read on for more.
- Pokemon GO Makes You Move: Pokemon GO encourages users to go outside and walk around. Pokemon are scattered everywhere; some are common and show up around every corner. Others are more rare and require a slight hike to find. By going and exploring new places, the user can find and catch different types of pokemon and even find different pokestops – places where you can get supplies without paying real world cash.
- Pokemon Go — Simple and Addictive: The actual gameplay is very simple. As a pokemon trainer, you go out into the world with your phone in-hand, and keep on the lookout for pokemon that will appear on your screen. When you encounter a pokemon, you tap the figure on your screen and flick a pokeball towards the creature to catch it. Pokemon has different difficulty levels, but the same idea applies at each stage. The game itself isn’t too complex, but with so many people playing, there are numerous tips and tricks available online.
- Pokemon Go Creates Community: Pokemon GO is creating a community of players all over the world (where the game is currently available). There are plenty of stories already about people encountering other trainers while out searching for pokemon, and building friendships. True story. Even within the game, each trainer is given the opportunity to choose between three different teams: Team Instinct, Team Mystic, and Team Valor. By picking a team, each player is binding themselves to a group of people and joining a community.
Believe it or not, Pokemon GO is the game many poke-fans have been waiting for. The first Pokemon games (Pokemon Red and Blue) were released in 1998 for GameBoy, following the success of the Pokemon television show. For the poke-obsessed, people have wished for years that they could actually become pokemon trainers and battle in real life. Now with Pokemon GO, this is the closest that Poke-nerds can get to this reality.
Allow this simple guide to ease you into what already looks to be a global phenomenon. There is plenty more to the Pokemon GO game, and our senses tell us that many improvements and upgrades will be developed in the weeks to come.
But — if all of this means nothing to you and you never want to hear the word “Pokemon” again, don’t worry. You’re not alone.
There are plenty of people just as confused about what it is about this app that has people going out of their minds. If you feel so inclined, download the app and see for yourself. (Warning — it IS addicting.) It doesn’t take long to fall into the craze yourself. And if you don’t feel inclined (in the slightest), at least you have some background on what’s driving everyone crazy.