Searching for Pokémon in Real Life - Pokémon GO is Nintendo's Latest Attempt to Get Us Active
That Pokémon GO was in development was no secret – it's been in beta for some time now– but last night, the mobile gaming app went live in Australia, prompting a wave of Aussies to get up, leave their homes, and go searching for Pokemon in real-life. Using your smartphone's camera and GPS functionality, the game allows users to track down and capture Pokémon that appear in real-life locations. Users can get alerts when a Pokémon has appeared in a location near them, but to capture it they must get out off their butts and get outside to visit the park, train station, bus stop, or whatever location the critter is hiding in.
It's this scavenger-style gaming that Nintendo hopes will once again flip the industry on its head. Years after getting us up and active with games like Wii Sports, Pokémon GO takes things one step further by dragging us out of our houses to keep us in shape and entertained at the same time. Best of all, it already seems to be working.
Pokémon Go is going to be the fitness app to actually get me to go outside and walk. This is insane.— Jess McDonell (@JessMcDonell) July 6, 2016
Hah. Pokemon go actually requires you to walk around. THIS IS FITNESS I CAN GET BEHIND— Izzy Gramp (@Shrubbette) July 6, 2016
It's been 30 minutes since Hanna and I downloaded Pokemon go.— GoldenBlackHawk (@GoldenBlackHawk) July 7, 2016
We've already been drawn outside our home and back into some trees/bushes.
It's not just the capture aspect of the game that requires activity. Once you've secured your Pokémon, you're given activity challenges to help you train and evolve them. Whether it be walking a couple of kilometers to hatch an egg faster, or earning power-ups and medals for consecutive days of activity, getting active is at the heart of Pokémon Go. The game won't necessarily whip you into Olympic-level shape, but it's certainly better for you than spending hours parked in front of your PC or console.
Pokémon GO is now available in the US and select other markets. The game is expected to reach the UK, Canada and the rest of Europe "soon."