Unless you’ve been living in cave for the past few decades, you’ll probably know what Pokemon is. Thanks to a clever blend of GPS technology and handheld gaming apps, the world has become obsessed with the recent release of Pokemon Go, a version of a Pokemon game that overlays augmented reality on your real-world viewing. In other words, you use your phone to spot Pokemon ‘in real life.’
How it works
The science behind Pokemon Go is pretty cool. You download a free app from your Android or iPhone app store and play a virtual reality version of the Pokemon game. You walk around in real life, your avatar walks on the screen, and when a Pokemon is near the phone will vibrate to let you know. Capture the Pokemon using a virtual Pokeball, but don’t forget to snap a photo of your catch before you do so you can share it with your friends!
Capitalizing on both the nostalgia factor of the series’ original fans and the appeal to a new generation, the game is one of the first easily accessible (free) augmented reality games on the market. The settings in the game were modeled after real-world places, and to make the game more interesting it includes special locations, called Pokestops, where you are more likely to find Pokemon. These are typically local landmarks or businesses that the game’s developers chose to encourage gamers to get more involved in their local surroundings.
Some stops are called Gyms. These are locations where you can compete in a virtual battle with other gamers to try and overpower their Pokemon in order to obtain control over that particular Gym. The Gym feature requires you to be a part of a Team, which is one way that the game’s creators hope to inspire interaction among players. Battling and training in Gyms help you level up, unlocking more features in the game and achievement medals.
Why people love it
First of all, it’s a free game that’s suitable for all ages. Families can enjoy it together without spending any money. However, for hardcore gamers, you can buy Poke coins which allow you to purchase items that encourage Pokemon to come to you, so you don’t have to travel quite so far to find them.
It’s also a collector’s delight, allowing you to indulge in collecting the virtual creatures with very little effort. Plus, its use of augmented reality makes players feel immersed in the fantasy world they may have enjoyed watching in the television series or in the previous Pokemon games.
Look for upcoming devices to be sold that allow players to capture Pokemon even when their phone is out of sight. These devices will connect via Bluetooth and allow the capture of the fictional creatures at the press of a button. These Pokemon Go Plus accessories are likely to be popular during the holidays, so marketers and affiliates may want to watch out for these in order to promote them.