A latest report talks of a former US marine in Iraq who’s fighting ISIS and has challenged them to a Pokémon battle. People are apparently hunting for Pokémons at Capitol Hill in Washington, at Central Park in New York, strip clubs and even the delivery room while the baby is being born. Some have turned up at police stations, and needless to say the police had to shoo away these Pokémon hunters.
Pokémon Go is a mobile game by developed Niantic Labs (which used to be a part of Google) and Nintendo–the latter has seen shares rise as the game was launched– which uses augmented reality and geo-caching to send players on a Pokémon hunt.
Those who grew up in India during the early 2000s watched the Pokémon anime series on Cartoon Network as Ash, Misty and Brock go on their adventures to become the ultimate Pokémon master. Ash and his Pikachu were the highlight of the series for many. The idea of the Pokémon series was simple: ‘catch ‘em
all,’ and the game thrives on this concept.
Pokémon Go’s is everywhere. Well, legally the game has only been launched in the US, New Zealand and Australia but pretty much everyone in every part of the world appears to be playing it.
Pokémon is similar to Ingress, an earlier game launched by Niantic Labs. Ingress also sends players to a certain point in the real world to collect a XM or Exotic Materials, which are part of the storyline. In Pokémon case, the game uses geo-caching, and your smartphone’s camera to send you to a particular location to catch a pokémon. Just like in the series, you have to throw a pokéball to catch the pokémon. Once you cross level five, you can train your pokémon in gyms and do battle with other players, just like Ash did in the series. The more gyms you have under your control, the better it is for you.
This also explains why people are congregating at these important places because the game often picks prominent locations where these monsters can be found. The game uses your smartphone camera to project the pokémon at a particular spot –that’s what is drawing in the fans. The augmented reality experience where virtual creations are projected into the real world has come alive for many, and pokémons are perhaps the best way in which this could have happened.
This augmented reality experience brings alive fantasy in a very real way — it gives you your own Ash Ketchum or Satoshi as he’s called in the Japanese anime series.
And pokémon is all that adults want. The app has already crossed more installs on Android than Tinder in the US, and people are spending more time on it daily than they on WhatsApp, Snapchat and Instagram.
All of these apps have hundreds of millions of users and Pokémon Go has just been out a couple of days. The app might even beat Twitter when it comes to Daily Active Users soon as data from analytics website SimilarWeb has shown.
While the global launch is not yet official, the hunt to ‘catch ‘em all’ and find our very own Pikachu has already transfixed the world.