The Covington News - - OPINION -

What is Poke­mon Go?

Poke­mon Go is a GPS based vir­tual game that al­lows gamers to catch Poke­mon around them. The game is a mix­ture of gam­ing and real world by use of the cam­era of your iPhone or Android to make the Poke­mon ap­pear in the real world.

Why is it so pop­u­lar?

Poke­mon Go es­sen­tially en­cour­ages users to go out­side and travel as they try to “catch” the common and rare Poke­mon. Re­leased on July 6, this vir­tual game, in less than a week, be­came a hit sen­sa­tion on so­cial me­dia rang­ing from Twit­ter all the way to Snapchat, emit­ting memes ev­ery­where in its wake. The orig­i­nal Poke­mon games, cre­ated in 1996 by Nin­tendo, had ex­pe­ri­enced de­cline of game sales for hand­held gam­ing de­vices. The re­lease of Poke­mon Go ex­cites peo­ple be­cause now it is ac­ces­si­ble through smart­phone in­stead of the typ­i­cal hand­held gam­ing de­vice. It brings back nos­tal­gia for the mil­len­ni­als and a new craze for newer gen­er­a­tions.

Who’s play­ing it?

On the square, hordes of peo­ple sit on the benches near the “Pokestops”, where they can re­trieve po­tions, eggs, and poke­balls with­out hav­ing to pay. It also has “Pok­egyms” where users can bat­tle for power. Cov­ing­ton has around 30 Pokestops and four Gyms. The game is not yet mul­ti­player, un­like its hand­held sis­ter game.

How do you play it?

You can of­ten find peo­ple walk­ing around try­ing to track down these rare and spe­cial Poke­mon such as; Pikachu and Staryu. In the right bot­tom cor­ner, you can see the Poke­mon near you. The feet/paw prints help you track these Poke­mon; 3 paw prints if they are rel­a­tively nearby, 2 if they are close, and 1 if they are within the im­me­di­ate vicin­ity. To catch the Poke­mon, you aim the ball at the Poke­mon and flick the Poke­ball at them. The aim of the game is to be the best “trainer” and col­lect all the Poke­mon.

How does it ben­e­fit peo­ple?

Nin­tendo’s stock has gone up by mil­lions, gain­ing more down­loads than the dat­ing app Tin­der in its 4 years of ex­is­tence. Now this sounds like it re­ally only ben­e­fits the com­pany who pro­duced it but trust me, the Poke­mon game has ben­e­fit­ted an abun­dance of peo­ple. Poke­mon Go not only pro­motes ex­er­cise by get­ting you to move around to catch the cute lit­tle mon­sters, it also cre­ates so­cial net­work­ing. All around the US, Aus­tralia, New Zealand, and soon to be Asia, you can find peo­ple of all races, ages, and sex­u­al­i­ties play­ing this game. This game helps you ex­plore, build re­la­tion­ships, and learn all while hav­ing fun.

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