Posted on July 12, 2016
Pokémon NO-NO Behind the Wheel
Are you ready for Pokémon GO? Catching your favorite Pokemon after finding him is the new free Pokémon GO game that millions of users are downloading onto their smartphones, causing a $75 billion spike in Nintendo’s market value. Needless to say, the mobile game that utilizes augmented reality is also causing a lot of concerns about car safety. Pokémon GO fans are playing the game while riding their bicycles, walking down the street, exploring the yards of complete strangers, and even while driving in their cars. One of the users went to the middle of a busy street to catch a Pikachu which caused for the hashtag #dontpokemongoanddrive to start trending on social media.
As well as soaring to the top of the app chart downloads and substantially increasing Nintendo’s value, Pokémon GO has truly captured the imagination of millions of people in Australia, New Zealand and the U.S., where it’s just been released. So many users have downloaded the game in the last few days that the app users will soon outnumber Twitter daily users. With the app being used around 43 minutes daily, it has already surpassed the usage of both WhatsApp and Instagram combined.
Everyone in Toronto may not already know exactly what Pokémon GO is all about, so here’s a brief rundown. The videogame is based on a Japanese anime series where users create characters and travel around the world looking for pocket monsters to battle with. Augmented reality has the app users combing through neighbourhoods to find Pokémon characters on their phone who appear to pop up in real life. The way it works is that an anime-type version of Google Maps covers up real street names and puts in Pokémon-version buildings to replace landmarks that you know in real life. When playing the game, users move around in the real world and the character in the smartphone app game mirrors those movements. Random encounters with Pokémon characters result, who the user tries to capture and train.
Besides the app’s bugs that are still being worked out, the game eats up battery like there’s no tomorrow. Since you’ll be using your screen so much during the game, that’s the first battery guzzler. You’ll also be using your camera to search for Pokémon in your (augmented) reality. And on top of that, you’ll be using your GPS to find Pokémon at all. Be aware that your battery will be dead fast after playing the game.
Collecting rare Pokemon in the charming game is where the fun starts. And joining one of the Pokemon global teams to battle for territory and glory is where it keeps going and never stops.
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