Working in digital marketing, I spend a lot of time online, particularly on social media and clickbait-y websites such as Reddit, Buzzfeed and the Metro (and my Mum told me I’d never ‘get a job sitting on Facebook all day’) checking out what’s new and interesting in the world. Over the past few days, the online world has been buzzing with discussion about the internet’s latest and greatest phenomenon, the Pokémon Go app.
Despite having only just been released on UK shores, it has taken the country by storm and after being told that my colleague Laura spent ‘all weekend walking round in fields catching Pokémon’ I was sold. I downloaded it to my own phone and set about on my merry quest to become a Pokémon Master.
Downloading the app found me creating an avatar of myself, and setting out around my area, waving my phone in the air as I searched for Pokémon to appear on my radar, much like the picture below.
Whilst I was out catching Pokémon, I encountered several other people doing the same thing on their phones. The majority of players appeared to be teenage boys, but there was also an adult couple, and a family with young children, all looking to catch ‘em all. While it’s not unusual to see people on their phones while out and about, it is refreshing to see young people actively engaging with the area they live in, (even if it is to catch a Pikachu) rather than just trudging their way from point A – B.
The success of Pokémon Go has been enormous, and deservedly so. In only a week or so since its release the tangible benefits have been obvious. Not only is it getting a couch potato generation off their sofas and into the great outdoors (thank goodness it’s been so sunny), but it’s been reported to have helped people with depression, encouraged new friendships and even stopped a robbery!
This retake on a 1990’s game has marked a new era of modern gaming, and while I am sceptical about how interested people will be in such pursuits during the cold winter months, I for one am very happy wandering around Milton Keynes looking for Pokemon in the sunshine.
Regardless of the weather though, you mustn’t forget – you gotta catch ‘em all!