Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you’ve heard about Pokémon GO. But what exactly is it? Pokémon GO is a free to play app that allows you to play the popular video game of the same name in the real world. Created by Niantic, who is known for their previous game, Ingress, the app uses your phone’s camera to show you the Pokémon in the real world. It also uses GPS and real world locations to help you get items in the form of Poke-stops and show off team pride in the form of Pokémon gyms. Once a player gets to level 5, they get the chance to join one of three teams: Team Mystic, Team Valor, or Team Instinct. The team you choose is permanent and others can see what team you joined and is the cause for a lot of rivalry among players.
With all this talk about Pokémon, Pokestops, and gyms, one might be wondering “What exactly are these things?
” A Pokémon is a creature that is found in the game. They have types which are effective against some and weak to others. A pokeball is a capsule device used by the player in all the games that is used to capture the Pokémon. In Pokémon GO, it is used by swiping it towards the Pokémon on the screen. Pokestops are found at real world locations like important land marks. You see them on the screen and when you get in range of them, you can tap on them then swipe left or right in order to get important items, like pokeballs. Finally the gyms are what you use to show team pride and are typically bigger landmarks or important places. Gyms are controlled by one of the three teams. When you want to take over a gym, you walk in range then tap on it. You select your Pokémon start the battle with the defending Pokémon. You tap to attack and swipe left or right to dodge. You lower a gym’s reputation with each victory and when it reaches zero, you can take control for your team and leave one of your own Pokémon to defend the gym.
Within the first week of its release, it became the #1 most downloaded app on the Google Play Store. With so many downloads, the question was how much do people like it? A survey of over 100 students revealed something surprising: 66% of the students surveyed said they disliked or outright hated the app with the remaining 34% saying they liked the app. When asked why, most people that disliked the app were worried about the number of accidents while the ones that liked it praised the fact that it encourages you to go outside. You can form your own opinion by going on to the Google Playstore or the Apple Appstore and download it for yourself.