Pokemon Go! The New Craze!
A group of teenagers and adults huddled around a water fountain at the local mall. Being a constant visitor there, I was shocked to see close to fifty people sitting, standing, and circling the manatee that sat quietly in the center of the fountain. Each person was glued to their phones as my eyes investigated the area, wondering what had brought all these people? Was it a flash mob, a protest, or something worse? My imagination had gotten the better of me as I realized it was no hostel takeover – it was Pokémon Go.
Released barely over a week ago, Pokémon Go has already shattered records by beating out apps like Tinder, Snapchat, and Instagram. According to SimilarWeb, the daily player will spend around 43 minutes a day hunting Pokémon. Facebook has a daily average of around 22 minutes. The Nintendo app is also becoming the most successful mobile app game of all time. Reports are showing that it took the mobile game only 13 hours to capture No. 1 on the sales chart, boasting a 2 million dollars a day revenue from in-app purchases.
But what is Pokémon Go?
To put it simply, Pokémon Go was developed by app developer Niantic and distributed by Nintendo. The app uses augmented reality or a view of the real world painted with graphical components. Players must explore and interact with their surroundings in order to catch creatures called Pokémon, battle other players, train, and soon players will also be able to trade with other Pokémon Trainers.
Does it cost?
Pokémon Go is free to download on both Android and iOS devices, but it does support in-app purchases. The primary objective of the game is to catch Pokémon, but to do that, users have to have pokéballs.
When first starting the game, players are given enough to find their way, but sooner or later they will run out as catching Pinsir, Scyther, Pidgeotto, or Dragonair is no simple task. Luckily, Nintendo placed pokéstops all around the map. They are displayed as blue towers. By simply getting close enough to the tower and swiping the image, a series of items ranging from pokéballs to lures will now be in your possession. If money isn’t a problem, then players can purchase coin packages from $0.99 for 100 coins all the way to $99.99 for 14,500 coins. These coins will allow players to buy anything they might need to further their exploration and domination.
Will Pokémon use my data and battery?
Probably one of the most overlooked parts of the game is the data usage and battery consumption Pokémon Go needs to operate. Most daily users are already advising players to get the unlimited data package from their cellphone provider. The game is constantly using the GPS to transmit your location. Since the game forces players to go outside and explore, using Wi-Fi is going to be a problem. If not careful, users could exceed their monthly data limit within a week.
On the battery side, the game will use your camera when you want to catch Pokémon, so your battery can take a big hit when using the app. There is a battery saving option located in the app’s settings, but if you are looking to spend a fair amount of time exploring, it’s better to go ahead and buy a portable power charge or a juice pack device that attaches to your phone.
Is it safe?
One statement that can not be iterated enough is that no game is worth your life. Since its release on July 6, there have been numerous reports of people not looking up from their phones and accidentally walking out into the road. Another article showed a mangled car that had slammed into a tree. The driver said he was distracted by the app and didn’t realize he had veered off the road. Police stations and news outlets are already pleading with people to not Pokémon Go and Drive! The best advice is to use common sense. Pikachu is obviously the most sought after character, but trespassing on someone’s property will not only put you in danger, but it may grant you a visit from the local police.
As for the app itself, some claim that by signing in with a Google account, you are giving Niantic full access to your account. They can see and do whatever they like. While the chances of Niantic doing anything harmful with this information is highly unlikely, the developer released their first update which restricts just how much access Pokémon Go has to your account.
Though the newest addition to the Nintendo lineup is still in its adolescent stages, Pokémon Go has already made a massive impact on trainers both young and old and doesn’t intend on slowing down anytime soon.