Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you will have heard of a certain new app taking over the world. Here's why you should join the masses and give Pokémon GO a go...
This revolutionary app is encouraging people to get outside, get fit, and get socialising. If you’ve seen a lot of people walking round, heads down, staring at their phone (even more than usual), then there's a good chance they're probably searching for a nearby Pikachu!
1. It's super nostalgic
If you’re in your mid-20’s like myself, then you will have been part of the Pokémon generation. How many afternoons can you remember shutting yourself in your bedroom for hours in your quest to become the ultimate trainer on your Gameboy? Playing the game brings back memories of the different loveable Pokémon we were so focused on catching and training, and choosing our starter Pokémon was probably one of our most important life decisions at the time (Charmander every time!)
2. It won't cost you anything
Why not give it a go? Everyone’s talking about it, so if you’re feeling intrigued as to what all the fuss is about, download it for FREE from your app store – then if you don’t like it, you can simply delete!
3. Everyone else is playing!
It’s the best thing Nintendo have brought out for a long time, and Pokémon GO has been downloaded in America more times than the dating app, Tinder, and according to other sources, the game is set to overtake Twitter!
4. It encourages exercise
As you actually have to go outside and walk around to find Pokémon, because they don’t just come to you (unless your house has a Weedle infestation like mine), the game is pretty much making players venture out into the big wide world to make their collection grow. If you need more Poké Balls or potions you can walk to your nearest PokéStop and collect these, plus, if you find an egg you can use your incubator to hatch it, by walking a certain amount of kilometres.
5. It brings people together
When you see other people walking the streets with their eyes down, engrossed in their phone, you’ll probably think to yourself “I bet they’re paying Pokémon GO too!” The game is encouraging socialisation and a Pokémon community is forming. This may be due to it being such a broadly appealing game – there are young children playing, senior citizens, parents, teenagers, 20-somethings, middle-aged adults, and everything in between! And, perhaps best of all, the game never really puts you in direct competition with anyone else, so people can comfortably give each other tips and advice, and chat about which Pokémon they’ve seen and caught.
6. It could help with your observation skills
When playing the game you have to keep your eyes peeled for PokéStops, as you can never have too many Poké Balls, and be ready to catch any potential Pokémon that materialise on your screen. Don’t panic if a new, or rare Pokémon appears in front of you (because you could end up looking a bit crazy in the middle of your street), keep calm and observe its movements – and you’ll add him to your Pokédex in no time!
7. Your determination will increase
As mentioned in my last point, if a Pokémon you don’t already have in your collection appears, it will definitely increase your determination to catch it. People all over the world are on a mission to catch ‘em all, as I guess that is the main aim of the game, but it seems some are taking it more seriously than others. For example, it has been reported that a man in New Zealand has quit his job to play Pokémon GO full time – maybe a bit extreme?!
8. It's getting kids back outside!
Pokémon GO uses augmented reality, which means, unlike virtual reality games, it focuses on the real world. You still get to interact with a digital universe, that kids love so much these days, but within your favourite local spot, or around your neighbourhood and city. The app uses your smartphone’s camera to overlay the digital creatures on to your screen, to make it look like the Pokémon is stood right in front of you. It then accesses your GPS and position information to alert you when you’re near a PokéStop or a Gym, which are usually interesting historical landmarks.
9. The whole family can play
As your thirst for new Pokémon grows, you'll find yourself exploring places together as a family, even places you may never have been to before. As the game is suitable and enjoyable for all ages, it gives adults and parents the opportunity to relate to the younger generation and get involved in something fun. As many traditional family games can leave one generation feeling bored or confused, finding an activity that gets everyone excited is a rare and valuable thing.
10. Just because it’s fun!
Lets face it, no matter how many times the game glitches and freezes at the moment, due to the servers being overwhelmed by the popularity, or some people’s scepticism towards the game, Pokémon GO is the best thing since sliced bread. I’m sure I’m not the only one that remembers wishing I could join Ash, Misty and Brock catching and training my very own Pokémon, and now our wishes have come true, kind of. Wherever you are, you can now be a trainer on alert looking to capture Pokémon to make your collection grow. I’m not sure how long the craze will last for, but why not give it a go and join in with the Pokémania!
Please remember to be safe when you’re playing Pokémon GO. Look up from your phone when attempting to cross a road, and don’t be encouraged to look for Pokémon whilst driving.