Give a man a Pokémon and you feed him for a day; teach a man to catch ‘em all and you feed him for a lifetime!
It’s been crazy lately with Pokémon Go! Everybody is talking about it, it’s flooding social media, videos are shared, funny captions are created, even the conventional news is mentioning it. But what is it that makes Pokémon so catchy? Is it the Augmented Reality? Is it the app’s social aspect? Is it the hidden collector inside us? A gateway to our childhood?
First of all, it’s not the AR… If you look at the developer of Pokémon Go, Niantic Labs, you see that they already have an AR game as advanced as Pokémon Go, called Ingress. Did you hear about it? Probably. But it was not as hot as Pokémon Go. So there is something else going on with these Pocket Monsters.
People are walking into each other and trying to catch Pokémon in the real world. Sounds social… Is this a new thing? Nope. Geocaching has been around for a long time and according to Wikipedia, it was first played in 2000, so old that it’s from the previous millennium. Of course, it then evolved onto our smart devices. Still not it.
Is it the passion to collect? I don’t think so. You don’t need a Pokémon to start collecting, you can just use stamps, football cards, guitar picks, coins, beer cans, bottle caps, or any other useless items to stock into your house or rental storage unit.
So, it must be something else. Or is it? Pokémon was a success in video games and playing cards, as well as the anime series. We’ve blown into our GameBoy cartridges and tried to catch them all in those tiny square screens. We have unwrapped the new decks hoping for rare Pokémons to appear. Hypnotised in front of the TV to see the new episode of the anime. And yes, we’re not young anymore, but we kept the hype going and transferred the love into new generations, Pokémon is a cult now.
I’m pretty sure that you’ve wished you had a PokéBall in your hands so you can catch and train your Pokémon. With Pokémon Go, your PokéBall is now in your hand and you’re doing it with all the world. It’s not only in your GameBoy, it’s not limited to your gaming cards, the story is not restrained to the TV show, you now have the opportunity to live your mastery as a Pokémon Trainer — together with the whole world.
Wrapping up. Yes, it’s the AR, it's the social interaction, it's the great feeling of collecting the creatures, it's the realization of the once-virtual Pokémon World meeting your real world. As it combines everything together to open a portal between Pokémon and our world, we’re going to hear a lot more about Pokémon and Pokémon Go.
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