In March, we talked about the intended release of Pokemon GO! on Facebook and what it meant for the gaming industry.
Pokemon Go! is finally here, and the augmented reality game has already overtaken Tinder in popularity as the most downloaded app. In fact, the shares have sky rocketed and people are talking about it left, right and centre.
The jist of it is this. You can view your location (as you would using Google Maps) on your phone. However, in Pokemon Go, areas around you have been turned into 'Poke Stops' where you can get 'poke balls' and 'eggs' to hatch! You must walk to these locations (or drive depending on how lazy you are!) to interact with the 'poke stop.'
There are also designated places that are 'gyms' which is where you can battle with the pokemon you have caught so far once you've reached level 5. You can compete for ownership of the gym and maintain your ownership of it by battling and duelling your pokemon. The catch? You have to GO to the location of the gym to interact with it! Which means a lot more walking and aimlessly rambling.
You catch pokemon nearly anywhere. In your kitchen, on your balcony, down the street in the local supermarket, parks etc. To catch a pokemon, you must throw a ball at them which you can see using your front facing camera. Yes, you can actually see the pokemon through your camera at the location you're at. This is the augmented reality part.
So if you're keen to catch yourself a Pikachu, a Charizard or Squirtle... you really should read on.
What pros and cons are there?
Well first of all, there has been some negative press already with people injuring themselves on 'poke hunts' by not looking where they are going. Of course there are always ways people find to exploit others using the game also, so it makes sense to keep your self awareness and perhaps only go to locations that you know you are safe and in day light hours.
The pros are pretty impressive. In America in particular there has already been reports of Pokemon Go! helping people lose weight! The whole game is based on walking and moving to different locations. People are finding themselves walking for miles without even realising it. The health and fitness element of it is a shock to those that usually find that video games do the very opposite. This game has revolutionised the gaming industry, making it interactive with your reality.
There have also been reports of mental health being improved by Pokemon Go! too, which is really nice to hear.
Want to know how to play? Take a look at the guide that has been created for users interested in getting to grips with the Poke World!