Get your bat­tery charged - you will be hooked on this game

7 Days in Dubai - - TECH TALK -

or­get An­gry Birds and ig­nore Kim Kar­dashian’s lat­est selfie, there’s only one thing the cool kids are talk­ing about.

That’s Pokémon Go, the new aug­mented re­al­ity mo­bile game from Nin­tendo and devel­oper Niantic Labs.

Since it was re­leased last week on iOS and An­droid in the US, Aus­tralia and New Zealand, the game has been top­ping the down­load charts and is even ex­pected to take over Twit­ter in daily ac­tive users on An­droid.

Be warned though, it’s not of­fi­cially out in the UAE un­til a prob­a­ble date of July 27 - but when it is re­leased, watch out. It’s go­ing to be big. Very big. And all of your friends and col­leagues will be play­ing it.

De­spite it not hav­ing its of­fi­cial UAE launch, some peo­ple here have down­loaded the app be­cause they have a US or Aus­tralia App Store or Google Play ac­count.

And be­cause of this I was able to take a sneak peek of the game and get out in the 45C heat walk­ing around the Gar­dens and Ibn Bat­tuta Mall search­ing for the lit­tle crit­ters.

Want to know more? Read on…

Yes. The Pokémon won’t come to you - you have to get out and ex­plore in or­der to find them. So an ob­vi­ous up­side to the game is that play­ers get more ex­er­cise than usual and can learn more about the his­tor­i­cal land­marks in­cor­po­rated into the game as Pokéstops. Dig­i­tal sign­posts de­scribe their sig­nif­i­cance in the real world.

Well, there have been a few in­juries and ac­ci­dents recorded (see box), but one pos­i­tive is you can­not op­er­ate the game while driv­ing. Pokémon Go re­quires slower in­per­son move­ment in the real world as it doesn’t count as walk­ing if you’re go­ing more than 20 miles per hour.

There have al­ready been some cases of crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity around the game though. Po­lice in Mis­souri, US, say four teens robbed vic­tims after lur­ing them to a spe­cific lo­ca­tion us­ing the game.

On the /r/dubai thread on Red­dit, there were lots of com­ments from play­ers say­ing where they could find Pokéstops and gyms. One Red­dit user said “Mall of Emi­rates is FILLED with pokestops!!” while an­other said “I’m in Deira with three Pokéstops and two gyms nearby and can CON­STANTLY see leaves rustling of nearby mon­sters”.

The Face­book Pokémon UAE group is also very ac­tive and the group ad­min has even shared a great list of safety tips - def­i­nitely worth a read. I missed out on the orig­i­nal Pokémon craze in the 1990s, so I was in­trigued when a friend showed me the new game. I thought it was great fun and will prob­a­bly give it a whirl once it’s out. It’s def­i­nitely one of those games that could end up be­ing ad­dic­tive, so get ready to lose all of your spare time. At least you will be out get­ting some ex­er­cise. Ev­ery cloud... Are there any neg­a­tives? The game uses a lot of phone bat­tery and you will need data, other than that it’s great. There’s no doubt the world will be go­ing crazy over this game, so charge up your bat­tery, add some data and wel­come to the world of Pokémon Go.

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