Pokemon Go has become a phenomenon and has taken advantage of people’s ADD nature, their reliance on smartphones, the warm fuzz of nostalgia and the human thirst for escapism. The game builds on the giant video game franchise that was created way back in the ‘90s by a Japanese insect collector and game developer.
The game is a lot like giving your brain a warm, relaxing bath in many ways. Pokémon Go makes just one simple and non-aggressive request: Gotta catch ’em all. You don’t have a time limit. There are no consequences. A Pokemon escaping a life of living inside a Poke Ball is the worst thing that can happen in the game.
The game isn’t even that great or stunning.
But still, it is a game you know everyone is playing right now. As a result, you naturally may have questions about it.
So here we are to answer some of your questions.
1) What is Pokémon Go?
In order to completely understand the game, you have to go back to the customary beginnings of Pokemon. A video game designer named Satoshi Tajiri started hammering out the concept of Pokemon around 1990. He clubbed both his childhood hobby of collecting insects and his love for video games.
“Places to catch insects are rare because of urbanization,” Tajiri told Time in 1999. “Kids play inside their homes now, and a lot had forgotten about catching insects. So had I. When I was making games, something clicked and I decided to make a game with that concept.”
Tajiri came up with this initial concept almost six years later with Nintendo and designer/illustrator Ken Sugimori’s help. The initial 151 different Pokemon were drawn by Sugimori himself. The first Pokémon game was released on Game Boy.
“Pocket monsters” have been contracted and Americanized/Westernized to form the word “Pokemon”. It can kind of sound inappropriate, yes! The actual first-person centered on 151 different types of Pokemon being captured by a young trainer. The various Pokemon ranged from ones that vaguely resemble turtles (Squirtle) to humanoid ones (Jynx) to the most recognizable Pokémon in the world, Pikachu.
That this combination of Nintendo 8-bit processing magic and lack of color was so magical is a testament to the ingenuity of Tajiri’s initial idea.
Tajiri’s insect-collecting inspiration and base concept was quite easy to see: the game was never visually impressive earlier, not even close to what it is today. It relied on the appeal of collecting and childhood imagination. Different Pokemon had special capabilities and origins of their own. Some of them looked totally freaky. And knowing which Pokémon were effective or weak against other Pokémon would help you capture and battle other trainers.
What added to the Pokemon lore was the eponymous cartoon TV series debuting in 1997 in Japan and 1998 in the US. Characters like allies Misty and Brock; the villains Team Rocket (Jessie, James and Meowth) and trainer Ash Ketchum were added in by the series. Pokemon was also given live-action traits by it (for instance, all Pokémon could only say their own name).
The latest game, Pokemon Go, was released on July 5. It is particularly a mobile game, a celebration of Tajiri’s initial idea and the original 151 Pokémon. The game is available for both Android and iPhone operating systems. Pokemon Go allows you to catch Pokemon by using your device’s ability to track time and your location, in a similar way to the original game. It does so by virtually launching red and white “Poke Balls” at them.
Pokémon Go expands on Tajiri’s initial idea that Pokémon are all around us, and his intention to encourage kids to realize the world around them, to create an augmented reality world where you can catch ’em all.
2) Am I the only person not playing Pokémon Go?
Well no. As per estimates by experts on Monday, Pokemon Go saw around 7.5 million downloads on the app stores.
For the frame of reference, there were 242,470,820 adults in the United States according to the US Census Bureau’s estimate. Also, as per a 2016 Pew report, 72 percent of adults in the US have smartphones. That translates to 174,579,000 adults having smartphones could use them to play Pokemon Go.
7.5 million is a fraction of that. Nonetheless, it is worth mentioning that Pokemon Go has been downloaded more times in a week in comparison to the popular dating and hook up app Tinder has in its four years of existence. According to an estimate, Pokemon Go is believed to be on 5 percent of smartphones while Tinder on just 2 percent.
Also, if the game continues its current growth trajectory, Pokemon Go users will soon surpass the number of Twitter users.
Pokemon Go Game Screen Shots
And if you’re of a certain age, it can seem like literally everyone you know is playing.
The initial Pokémon game released 20 years ago was extremely popular among tweens and kids at the time, meaning that a lot of today’s adults probably played that first game. Those adults — millennials! — are probably the ones you hear talking about their glut of shitty Zubats or gloating about their cute-ass Horseys. Millions of people are spending hell lots of time playing Pokemon Go.
Millions of people are spending hell lots of time playing Pokemon Go.
To summarize, Pokemon Go is basically benefitting from a ideal storm of millennial nostalgia for the real and actual game that released decades ago. Also the fact that a lot of time is spent by those same millennials talking about themselves on social media. With the current of spate of media coverage being thrown in, it can look like everyone is playing the game.
4) Is the game any good?
Although Pokemon Go is fun, it ain’t that great or extraordinary. A lot of appeal and gameplay of Pokemon Go depends on your geographical location, though your mileage may vary. You’re supposed to find water Pokemon if you walk past a body of water or find grass or bug types Pokemon if you go to a forest or a Central Park.