Pokémon Go: A New Cultural Phenomenon in the Streets


Everyone’s familiar with the Pokemon series that made its first appearance in the 90’s, it’s now in the spotlight once again, thanks to Pokemon Go. Pokemon Go is a new smartphone game app mimicking the Pokemon series game play. The world is rapidly turning into a Pokemon Zoo, now anyone has the power to become the master of these pretty little monsters.

This is the first release of a smartphone app game by Pokemon Company that’s been looking forward to building a multi million video game since 1998. Niantic, the game designer, made a collaboration with Google Maps in designing the mechanics of the game for real time walking experience while playing the game. By using your smartphone’s GPS signal and camera, it appears as if the wild Pokemon monsters are matching the streets in your real world.

You can see your avatar walking the streets in your locality, plus Poke-stops which are special locations that house digital items like poke, ball, potions and eggs.  There are also Gyms that can be searched by the player to train Pokemon as well as battle. When walking and doing exploration, players also called trainers, are welcomed by rustling grasses that signal the presence of a Pokemon. Getting closer will trigger their appearance and tapping a Pokemon will have the Poke battle initiated.

Pokemon Go is available to play for free. However, if you are impatient enough to collect some items during game play, you can instead buy them through in-app purchases. The game is becoming a cultural phenomenon though there are a few bugs that are yet to be fixed, just as common with new games on their debut. For instance, the game may freeze at times and if you reside in a suburban area, you’ll have fewer Poke-stops, meaning less items for you. 

Despite these bugs as common with any game on its first appearance, Pokemon Go is really fun playing and can be addictive to those who love the Pokemon series. Niantic is already releasing tweaks and patches to improve the game play and the popularity of the game is expected to multiply greatly. The game has garnered the highest level of attention on its first appearance, and this only the beginning.