POKEMON – Gotta catch em all…regardless who you are
Like the millionth person in Adelaide, not to mention the world, I’ve decided to don the visor and backpack and go catching Pokemon. To preface this article, I must first explain I know nothing about Pokemon except for Pikachu, Charizard and Bulbasaur….oh and a few others but only because they were characters in Super Smash Bros Brawl.
For those of you unfamiliar with this craze sweeping the world, it is the simple idea that we can game anywhere and anytime for reward, but more so the idea that gaming of this nature encourages the user to get out of the house and explore their surroundings. What I particularly love about the game is, and let’s be honest here, the world can sometimes be a dark, lonely and boring place. This game brings these cute little creates into your everyday world, by popping up in unusual places just as you go about your business (providing you have the app on). I’m sure by now most of you would have Insta, Snapchat and Facebook feeds full of these cute little creatures popping up in the most funniest/unlikeliest of places. I personally, walk everywhere so this for me is the perfect companion to my walk. Yes, surely I’ll take an extra 5-10 mins to get where I’m going now because I’m stopping to catch Pokemon or taking small detours to hit Pokestops, but the difference is the simple clean fun I’m having on the journey.
For me, I am still learning the more advanced aspects of the game, levelling up and evolving. I was scared to ‘transfer’ all the Growlithe I’ve acquired because, well let’s face it, he is so damn cute and I didn’t want to risk losing him, but I realised that the aim of the game is to keep the strongest and to sacrifice the rest for ‘candy’ to continue to evolve the one you’ve chosen to keep – Survival of the fittest if you will. So at the moment, I’m just focusing on the one or two Pokemon and trying to learn through them. From what I’ve read about the game; however, you should aim to have a few leveled/evolved Pokemon of different elements, so that during battles you can choose the right Pokemon for that battle.
So far I have lost three battles at my local gym; however, I have learnt the art of dodging by swiping left and right and if you time it you can completely dodge their attack. I’ve also learnt the importance of tapping ferociously on the screen to perform the quick attacks, while timing it with the dodging. This not only weakens your opponent but also charges up the special move. This is each Pokemon’s special attack that is much more powerful than the quick attacks. BRING ON THE RAIN!!
The augmented reality idea that the Pokemon game lives in is not new to me as I was a veteran of Niantic’s first foray into gaming: Ingress. For those of you unfamiliar with this game, please go check it out. It is very similar to Pokemon, except it is not really PVE more so PVP, with teams and team chat going 24/7 and the constant battle for ‘portals’ and control of influence over the other team. I must say one of the best night’s off my life was running up and down North Terrace in Adelaide defending my team’s resources in a battle that only select people knew about. To me it was warfare, and I was fighting for survival. To the bystanders, an energetic guy constantly doing something with his phone at different landmarks.
There is also camaraderie out there for all the fellow Pokemon hunters. We all see each other, we all know what each other is doing and we give each other the nod. This again is another light in a dark world: A connection with strangers over gaming. Isn’t that what gaming is all about? I will admit, this game can be addictive, I must attest to that, but what I have noticed is how many groups of people or couples are going Pokemon hunting together. I think it is the kind of game that you should especially download and play if you don’t get out much, because in order to progress in the game you must actually move. There is even a component in the game that in order to hatch Pokemon eggs you need to incubate them, and the only way to incubate them is to move. That’s right, it tracks your steps, so motorized transport won’t cut it!
There is however one major downside to this game, it will DESTROY your battery and eat your data. The best way to combat the former is to carry around those battery packs and keep your phone plugged in them at the same time, failing to do this can see you losing a full battery in the space of an hour. This game chews the battery at the rate it charges it, so bear this in mind. To handle the issue of data usage, is a lost cause, you are constantly sending and receiving data/GPS signals to play this game, my advice is, and this works for the addiction factor too, play it sporadically. It is a fun game to play every now and then, while the opportunity is there, but I do think, like Ingress it does have the capacity to take over a gamer’s life, if they choose it to.
So for me, the walk to work and the gym, will be accompanied will extra roads and cute creature hunting, but for a majority of the time the app will stay off. I do however highly recommend everybody download this game, as it is fun for everybody, regardless of age or Pokemon knowledge. I see many people in all walks of life and careers playing this amazing game. So get out there and have some fun! I’d love to write more about this amazing app but I have to go, as I have an Abra in my room, sitting on my desk – Gotta catch him.. and em all!