The girl was walking with her dog, who was excitedly trotting through the gates to the park. Near the benches and picnic tables a group of about 5 or 6 people walking around, staring intensely at their phones. As we neared them, one of them yelled, “I got it! It’s here! I got it!” He along with his friends were overjoyed, but I was deeply confused. Then one of them yelled, “No way! You caught a Pikachu!” The group was running around yelling in excitement. Then I understood. They’d been playing Pokemon GO.
The game craze first started on July 6th, 2016, the day the app was released. The app was made by Niantic, the official Pokemon company. Since then, according to engadget.com, there have been over 100 million downloads! Though the hype is slowing, according to IGN.com, the company is still making a steady $2 million a day.
You would be surprised at how the game launched. According to (SimilarWeb.com) over 60% of people who have the app use it daily. The website also stated, “In terms of Usage Time, Pokémon GO is taking up a ton of its user’s time. As of July 8th, the app was being used for an average of 43 minutes, 23 seconds a day, higher than Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat, and Messenger.”
Pokemon GO can be quite a confusing game to get the hang of. Basically, you walk around and wait for a character to pop up. Once you tap on the Pokemon, it activates your back camera and puts the Pokemon against your surroundings. Then swipe up to throw a ball and capture the Pokemon. Once you’ve captured it, you get a certain type of candy that comes with the character you captured. Then you can evolve or upgrade the Pokemon character using the candies.
They’ve also added Gyms. While you’re walking around you may come into contact with a gym. At a gym you can train your Pokemon for battles, which also occur at gyms. During a battle you choose your best Pokemons to battle against someone who put their Pokemon in a gym already. There’s also different levels that you can increase by catching more Pokemon and winning more battles.
The game itself was probably made to advertise the Pokemon game, but also to get lazy people who are always on their phones to go walk around, and catch Pokemon. Society has recently become very lazy, and no thanks to the new technology craze. Smart phones keep improving, making life easier for humans. But most people don’t realize that it makes you lazy and unaware. For example, self-driving cars. Those are incredible, but this way people don’t focus on the road and play around on their phones.
Out of all of the downloads, it’s not only Americans who got in the craze, but countries around the world have already got into the action. Europe, Asia, and tons of other places are just as crazy about it as we are. I’ve even seen tons of people playing in their cars, hopefully not while driving, on their way to school, skateboarding, or biking. I’ve asked a few friends and fellow students what they thought about Pokemon GO, and here were some answers:
“It’s so addicting! Plus I like it ‘cause it gets me out of the house.”
“Every time I go outside I immediately turn on my phone.”
“It’s really cool!”
Even though a lot of people like it, not everyone has it. This is mostly due to parents worried about the game’s safety. Injury reports or tragic accidents had been all over the news, which worried parents everywhere. Even I personally know a few people that aren’t allowed to download the game because it’s “too dangerous”. I can’t disagree with that, however, for I’ve even seen close calls with people playing it. Sometimes people will trip over a curb for example, or jay-walk right into a street! So I guess I could understand parents concern. The people who don’t have it think of it as…
“Kind of stupid. People get hurt or killed from being unaware!”
“Horrible. People are addicted to it!”
I did a program over the summer with lifeguards at the beach. One of the lifeguards hated Pokemon GO! We asked her why, and she told us a story…apparently a man was on the pier and almost jumped off! The lifeguards had to rush over and stop him, and they did. They asked him why he would do that, and apparently he wanted to catch a pokemon. How stupid is that?! That’s probably part of the reason people don’t like it.
Over summer break the game became extremely popular. People everywhere were playing it! And that’s not only kids and teens, but even some adults, too. But that’s not all, even restaurants got into the action. Popular places looking for more business just put a Poke Stop at their location, that way people would be walking around and walk toward the restaurant. A Pokestop is a location at which you can get more inventory, such as Pokeballs, potions, and level-up gems.
Pokemon GO became so popular this summer that a lot of YouTube stars made songs and parodies. But there was one that stood out the most. A song that goes, “I play Pokemon GO every day, I play Pokemon GO!” By a kid from the Czech Republic named Mischa. His video generated almost 35 million views and has over 500 thousand likes! That’s just another contribution to the craze of the game. Everyone who knows Pokemon GO loves, or at least has heard of this Pokemon GO song.
So as you can see, Pokemon GO clearly isn’t just another boring, common application. It really is fun and exciting and a good time waster. And if you get dragged out for a boring walk, just make sure your phone is charged and get ready to catch some Pokemon!