Like Dean's article earlier this week introducing Pokemon Go, this article will focus on a player who is familiar with the Pokemon series.
There is no need to re-introduce Pokemon Go, as you have probably read the countless articles, talked with friends or co-workers, or even seen the application on the news. I am here to reaffirm that Pokemon Go is the year's best app that you must have for your smartphone. This game has people who have no idea what a Pokemon is or what they are all about uniting with long-term fans trying to "catch them all". Despite some initial server growing pains, the application has been updated twice already fixing bugs and glitches that have been found in the application, particularly with logging into the game.
I have been a fan of Pokemon since the beginning. In the late 1990's, I used to work at FuncoLand, a family-owned pre-owned video game store that was purchased by GameStop in the early 2000s. Game Boy was still monochrome, and honestly it seemed like it was dying out. I still had my old grey "brick" system, which rarely got utilized. My manager was talking about this new Game Boy game that came out called Pokemon, where you caught and battled monsters. Released in two different versions (Red and Blue in the United States), players had to find a friend with the opposite version to trade for the monsters that were unable to be found in their version. Totaling 151 in all, it was designed to be a social game from the beginning. He purchased Blue, and I the red version and the rest is history. I have played numerous sequels and excellent spin-offs such as Pokemon Snap and Pokemon Pinball, as well as the Master Trainer board game and the Pokemon Trading Card game.
I am by no means a Pokemon expert, as there are currently over 720 different types of Pokemon in the latest series. However, in Pokemon Go currently only the first 150 can be caught. This will lead to numerous updates and expansions I am sure, releasing more species of Pokemon into the wild. For me personally this game has found the ability to get my butt out of the chair and do more walking. Yesterday I walked almost 3 miles on my lunch break just collecting items from Poke stops, catching Pokemon, and battling at gyms. I work in a high-density populated area, and there were plenty of other users doing the same thing I was. Groups of people had crowded around a Poke stop that had a lure attached, so they could acquire more Pokemon for their team. My close friends have all chosen the blue team, Team Mystic and we are having a blast trying to form strategies and comparing the monsters that we have captured.
There has seemed to be a lot of hate recently on Pokemon Go and on social media, almost like it's cool to do so. However, this application has found many beneficial uses such as promoting outdoor locations like parks, monuments, and historical sites. Honestly, I have learned a bit of history from visiting some of these locations, and it has gotten me outside more. Many small businesses are utilizing this application to attract and retain customers, and animal groups are encouraging people to use the app to walk pets while doing so. I have met new people, and connected with people on an entertainment level that was previously unknown. Hopefully like other applications, Pokemon Go will have special events where the game community can compete or unite to acquire in-game items, making an even bigger impact on the social aspect of this application, as it was originally designed to be way back in the late 90's. I caught a Snorlax yesterday on my walk on my lunch break. Who knew walking could be so much fun?