What is the Rage over Pokemon Go?
We have all heard the crazy stories on the news and can not believe our eyes or ears. People are actually getting killed in real life over a video game. It sounds crazy but is completely true. This extremely addictive live multi-player smartphone game is sweeping the world in a way that was certainly not expected. People are obsessed and in certain situations it has become dangerous and sometimes deadly.
What is Pokemon Go?
Pokémon Go is a free play(of course in-app purchases are available and highly promoted and encouraged) location based augmented reality game. It was created by a company called Niantic for Apple and Android devices like cell phones and tablets. It is available in select countries since July of 2016. You use a GPS tracking device in the game to find and capture the virtual creatures. They show up on the mobile screen as if they are in the exact location of the person playing the game. You then battle and train the new Pokemon that you have just taken under your control. You can buy more items if you want to enhance your game play. It may not have the highest reviews according to many sources but more than 100 million people around the world have downloaded it due to all the media coverage. It is one of the most widely used apps across the world on a global scale.
A Game Like No Other
It has gotten credit for making location based augmented reality games mainstream. The idea behind the game was to combine physical activity with gameplay making players have to get off the couch to advance in the game. It was supposed to make you more active within the real world. The concept was great, it has just gotten out of hand with people becoming so addicted that they are completely out of it while playing and some accidents have happened. It has also become annoying in public places where players are interrupting activities and being a nuisance.
The Beginning of the Game
To start the player makes a Pokemon Go account and an avatar that can have a customizable style. Features like hair, skin, eye color, style and an original outfit are designed by the player, somewhat like the Nintendo Wii characters. Once you have your new character made to your liking, it is featured on a map showing your real location. Pokemon Stops and Pokemon Gyms show up which have items that the player needs. There are Poke Balls and potions which can also be equipped with lures to attract the Pokemon to you. As you move along your real location, the game does as well in an augmented reality setting. Different types of Pokémon will be found in different types of locations. A water Pokémon would be found near real water for example. When you get close to a Pokémon you can look at it in augmented reality mode or with a live rendered generic background. The augmented reality mode uses the camera and gyroscope on the player’s phone to project the image of a Pokémon to look like it is in their real world with them. If you do not have this feature you can take a screenshot to prove you encountered the Pokémon.
What Makes it Dangerous?
The part that is dangerous is the level of the obsession that is happening in order to capture these Pokémon. People fight over who captures them, they wrecked cars in order to find one, and it just causes so much competitiveness that people cannot pay attention to their real life surroundings while trying to capture one. They are not at home where they are safe. If you choose to play, bring along a non-playing pal to watch out for you.
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