This weekend, everyone and their mom downloaded Pokemon Go and actually went outside to play…
I know, because I was outside walking around collecting wild Pidgeys and I saw you.
The iOS and Android mobile app, available for free in the iStore and Google Play, is a throwback to the 1996 original Nintendo game with a twist for a newer generation. Created by Niantic game developers, the mobile app quickly took the internet over, with news outlets, SnapChat and Twitter already going crazy over the game.
But seriously, what’s so great about Pokemon Go?
Well, first of all, it’s Nintendo, so you know the quality is decent, even in beta. Launch weekend did see a few crashed servers and I’m sure there will be an update coming soon (because I can’t get my app to work in AR mode) but the basis for longterm success is there. Remember when Angry Birds came out and EVERYONE was playing? It’s going to be like that, but even better because exercise!
Yes, you didn’t read that wrong–Pokemon Go is a game that requires players to walk around, in real life, OUTSIDE, in order to play. To catch about 15 Pokemon on Saturday, I actually walked about a mile around my neighborhood with my dog, along with about 30 other players on the street that night (I’m not even lying, it was so weird). The further you travel, the more Pokemon you gather, the more Pokemon, the higher the level, the bigger your bounty, etc. Eventually, players can battle others at gyms, which are basically hotspots around the neighborhood. Players must be in the vicinity of the gym in order to pick a team and engage, which causes nerds to sit in the same area and talk to each other, outside. I am Team Valor (red team, go!) but since I haven’t been able to play since yesterday, I have no idea what that means. I’m assuming I fight against Teams Mystic (blue) and Instinct (yellow) and do stuff and things.
It’s a brilliant ploy, getting gamers outdoors to meet each other via an old favorite ( and still very popular) video game. There are already t-shirts and nerd gear gracing my social media, while my entire Twitter feed is playing the game by getting outside and geeking out together. Last night as I walked a mile with my pooch to catch Pokemon for the second night in a row, I began to imagine the nerds I am going to meet (and battle and lose to) at SDCC next week and got super excited. Me. Over a video game. Thanks, Nintendo.
Are you playing Pokemon Go? Let me know in the comments below.
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