What is Pokemon Go? - dummies

What is Pokemon Go?

By Ashley Watters, Abshier House

Pokemon Go is the viral augmented reality game that has gamers going from place to place in search of Pokemon. Rumored to be the top internet search term for a brief period in July, this game is taking the world by storm. The game uses real world locations. The goal is to view the world through your smartphone, attempting to catch the Pokemon that appear. When your smartphone detects the presence of a Pokemon, it will vibrate alerting you to the near proximity of another catch.

Image courtesy of www.pokemongo.com
Explore the real world with Pokemon Go.

Downloading Pokemon Go

This mobile game is available on the iOS and Android platforms. This free game can easily be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. Simply follow the instructions for installing the game and you are well on your way to Pokemon fun!

When you get started, it’s important that you allow the app to access your location. Because this is a location-based game, you can only play with location services turned on.

Playing Pokemon Go

Launch the app to begin your gaming exploration. Once you have discovered the presence of a Pokemon, you line it up and throw a Poke Ball to catch it. However, quick fingertips are a must. The elusive Pokemon can slip away from the grasp of your smartphone. In addition, the game will take you to a number of PokeStops where you can collect Poke Balls and other tokens.

The first time you play Pokemon Go, the game will prompt you to customize your Trainer. The Trainer is your avatar for the game. Gamers can customize their Trainers with different clothing and accessories. You will see your individualized trainer as you move throughout the game and the real world. Your Trainer can also be seen as part of your user profile. Check out these Trainer tips from Pokemon Go developers.

As you explore, you will gain levels and more powerful items with the ultimate goal of completing your Pokedex. The Pokedex is a catalogue of all of the Pokemon species that you catch. Capturing more powerful Pokemon helps you achieve this goal. Continue exploring and moving around the world to encounter and catch more and more interesting creatures.

Once you reach Trainer level five, you must join a team. There are three teams: Team Instinct, Team Mystic, and Team Valor. As a team member, you will compete in Battles and work with your fellow team members to build a strong defense against rival teams, challenging or defending Gym locations.

Following the trend of wearables, Pokemon Go will soon offer the Pokemon Go Plus. This wearable device is worn on the wrist and will alert you of nearby Pokemon. Although, it was originally expected to be released at the end of July, Nintendo has pushed back the release date to September 2016.

Image courtesy of pokemongo.com
The Pokemon Go Plus integrates wearable technology into the popular game.

Issues with Pokemon Go

Gamers beware! The popular game is not without issues. A few interesting situations have arisen as gamers travel around in search of Pokemon. One such issue is the accidental placement of a man’s residence as a Gym. While Boon Sheridan has reacted to the problem gracefully, tweeting about his visitors and playfully allowing gamers to take his photo, the influx of visitors is a constant barrage. Gamers are flocking to his house at all hours of the day, roaming around his property. The same issues have been noted at other locations.

The game also served as a tool for robbers targeting unsuspecting victims. In Missouri, armed robbers were arrested for using Pokemon Go to attract gamers to isolated locations before robbing them.

In addition, Pokemon Go is causing gamers to be less aware of their surroundings. The lack of awareness has led to numerous warnings from law enforcement. Police departments across the country are warning Pokemon Go gamers to pay special attention to their surroundings in an effort to reduce traffic incidents, trespassing, and car accidents as a result of playing the game.

Pokemon Go can be great fun as long as you pay attention to your surroundings. Have fun!