The Pokémon Go craze is sweeping the world. What do you need to know?
I’ve been in Europe the past couple of weeks. As I was waiting in LAX airport, I noticed that Pokémon Go was available. Like any lover of Pokémon, I downloaded it and started playing to pass the time. I started playing Pokémon in the 3rd grade with Pokémon Red and Blue on the original Gameboy. I played all of the video games, collected all of the cards, and even won a few regional tournaments! That may sound nerdy but, hey, this is the Tech Talker podcast!
What Is Pokémon Go?
Don't know what Pokémon Go is? Then you've clearly failed to notice kids and adults bumping into way more things while staring at their phone?
Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game for smartphones that is designed to bring Pokémon into the physical world. Nintendo (the original owner of the Pokémon franchise), was in a bit of a bind around the 2010’s when sales of video game consoles began to drop considerably due to the fact that everyone was playing games on their phones. It didn’t make sense for most people to go out and buy a portable video game system when they had one in their pocket already.
Pokémon Go was released in mid July of 2016 and was created by a company called Niantic, who is responsible for creating another wildly popular augmented reality game called Ingress. To those who love Pokémon, this has been a long awaited game that many did not believe was ever going to come.
By playing the game, you get points by finding items and Pokémon by walking around the real world. There are Pokestops, which are basically any notable art installation or landmark. Each Pokestop gives you the opportunity to gain experience and items by just tapping on your screen when you walk up to one.
What Is Augmented reality?
I’ve thrown around the phrase ‘Augmented Reality’ a few times already. Basically it’s when an app or game puts extra data or visualizations over the real world. Think of it like the display of a fighter pilot. If you’ve ever seen the screen of a fighter pilot, they can see stats on their aircraft projected right on their eye piece. This allows them to view information without ever taking their eyes away from flying the plane.