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Jul 12, 2016
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What started as a joke in 2014 is now a reality. Augmented reality, that is. Pokémon Go is the reason people are hopping onto strange corners everywhere these days with gleaming eyes on their phones.

No, really, what’s going on?

The app was released last week in the US and it is, by far, the closest thing we have to emulating the Pokémon Universe in our world. It’s a mobile game for Android and iOS devices that uses GPS to help you find those virtual critters in nearby areas. You have a map of the real world, enhanced by the game’s visuals, and your character (a trainer) moves with you as you walk around.

Die-hard Pokémon fans and bandwagoners alike started loitering outside in hopes of catching wild Pokémon. Grandparents everywhere have long been worried about youngsters being glued to their phones, and this app does nothing to appease that. However, Pokémon Go has had the unintended effect of dousing users with some vitamin D from all the outdoor excursion.

The goal is to catch as many Pokémon as possible, then acquire enough experience points to qualify for battle at designated gyms. These gyms are usually found in landmarks, so if you see a group of people congregating around a location while tinkering around with something, don’t worry! It’s not illegal cockfighting; it’s just Pokémon Go.

Followers of the Nintendo classic are finally able to live their ultimate fantasy of collecting Pokémon, all with the help of their dear smartphones. Pokémania is back!

Hold up, what’s Pokémon?

Pokémon, short for pocket monsters, are creatures that (supposedly) live among us. If you have a Pokéball, you may capture, raise, train, and even trade wild Pokémon with other trainers. Some of these creatures evolve and undergo metamorphosis at some point, learn new abilities, and increase their statistics such as Attack and Speed.

The Pikachu species are the face of the series, and that cute yellow creature is actually a mouse. There are over 700 known Pokémon in existence, and could be anything from a dragon to a chinchilla. They can be very charming and enticing to collect. Truly a hoarder’s dream.

Pokémon dominated back when Game Boy was the screen to beat when it came to attention disorders. The franchise grew and came out with an anime TV series, plus a bunch of movies. We are best reminded of the craze whenever we hear M2M’s "Don’t Say You Love Me."

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If you were born before 1985 and unfamiliar with Pikachu, ask your younger brother or cousin, they’d know. It was a huge deal in the late '90s and now that technology caught on, it’s coming back through Pokémon Go.

The fun thing about the game is that the type of creatures available varies depending on your time, location, and environment. Nocturnal creatures show up at night, while water-inhabiting types can be found near bodies of water. It’s easy to see why long-time fans who are now struggling with "adulting" are crying tears of joy.

I get it now. I want to be part of this. What else do I need to know?

The app is only currently available in the US and Australia. But hold on to your Pokéballs because the app is set to roll out in Asia and Europe in the next few days.

But beware! Like any app that had gone viral, engaging in Pokémon Go has its share of controversies, even actual, physical dangers. A teenager in the US even found a dead body while trying to acquire Pokémon, and with the way things are going in our country, we might, too!

It’s important to note the massive potential for misuse and invitation to misdemeanor, as demonstrated by an American soldier in Kurdistan who avoided duty just to catch Squirtle. There were even robbers who used the app to lure and entrap players in secluded locations. Perverts, of course, are never late to the game as a new subreddit dedicated to “Pokemon Go nudes” emerges.

It was a long time coming but now, as Pokémon reaches its 20 years, there’s no better gift to fans than their ultimate fantasy realized. Go out and catch 'em all!

 

Photos via International Business Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal

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