Although Pokémon hit Nintendo systems everywhere in 1996, making it a popular franchise among Millennials, the recent launch of Pokémon Go is ushering in a younger crowd, as well as their parents who are eager to get them out of the house.
The game, which is a downloadable app, requires that you create a character and choose a starter Pokémon, the little animal-like characters the game revolves around, and then you’re off to start exploring the world in the quest to “catch ‘em all.” Places of interest are known as Pokestops, where you can collect items. Gyms serve as ways for teams (red – Valor, blue – Mystic, and yellow – Instinct) can vie for territory. And eggs can be hatched by walking distances (2km, 5km, and 10km).
As many could’ve guessed, the game, which requires you to walk around to catch many of the Pokémon, has created an uptick in people’s daily exercise, and that has doctors and nurses singing its praises.
Admittedly, the game had gotten off to a rocky start. There really is no tutorial on how to play. There have been numerous server and connections issues that can make gameplay frustrating. You’ll lose items that you’re about to collect or fail to catch a Pokémon when the game freezes up But the very fact that players actually need to talk to others to figure out how the game works seems to contribute to its massive success as a social catalyst.
The game isn’t without its risks, though. For example, a teenage boy from Flower Mound was bitten by a snake while trying to catch Pokémon, and a 15-year-old girl in Pennsylvania was struck by a car on a busy four-lane road while playing the game.
A potentially expensive risk of playing the app is its dependency on data, which could skyrocket you past your current data plan, resulting in fees.
According to Business Insider, if you played the game for eight hours a day for a month, you’d consume just under 20 GB, which is well over the average 2-4 GB data plan.
Although some speculate the game is just a fad and will eventually lose its allure, we hope it will motivate people to stay active even after the phenomenon ends.
*Game was reviewed using a Samsung Galaxy S5*