What is Pokemon GO and why is it so popular?

What is this new game and why is it stopping traffic?

What is Pokemon GO and why is it so popular?

Millions of people are playing Pokemon GO, and some are so enthralled they’ve been forgetting about the real world around them. So what is this new game and why is it stopping traffic?

If you have children or grandchildren you’ve probably heard of Pokemon. The franchise began in 1996 with two humble videogames for the Game Boy.

In these games, players took up the role of a young child leaving home to take on the world by becoming a ‘Pokemon Trainer’. Pokemon are wild creatures that can be tamed to become companions, workers or fighters. There are 151 Pokemon in the first game, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, and you must catch and train as many as possible to battle with other trainers in a quest to become the best.

It’s easy to see why the game was so popular with children and teenagers – themselves not far off leaving their family homes to venture into the world (not to mention all the adorable Pokemon).

Over the last 20 years the franchise has spawned dozens of videogames, a television series, trading card games, merchandise and even a theme park.

So why has the newest Pokemon game caused such a stir?

Pokemon GO is perhaps the first popular Augmented Reality (AR) game, meaning one where reality is combined with computer-generated images to create a game that exists somewhere between the real and virtual worlds.

AR technology replaces the fictional world of earlier Pokemon games with the world we live in – so, rather than pressing a button to catch a Pokemon, you have to physically walk over and capture it. The game shows you a GPS map of your surroundings, as well as any Pokemon that are nearby. When you get close enough, you turn on your camera and the Pokemon will be standing right there waiting to be caught. Once you catch one you’ll have to go for another walk to battle it.

Unlike most videogames, Pokemon GO can only be played when you are out and walking, which is great for promoting fitness. Rewards are even given to players for walking long distances.

Unfortunately, the game seems to be so captivating that some players aren’t watching where they’re walking, which has led to a few incidents, such as car crashes, players falling down hills or into ponds, and at least three separate people discovering a dead body … Yikes.

But let’s not dwell on the negatives. In addition to the physical health benefits, the game is also having a positive effect on mental health. Sufferers of depression and anxiety have been “up and moving and meeting new people”, as one player tweeted.

For all its pros and cons, it looks like Pokemon GO is here to stay – at least until they catch them all.

The app is available for free on iPhone, iPad and Android.

What do you think about Pokemon GO? Have you seen anyone out and about playing it?

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    COMMENTS

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    PlanB
    26th Jul 2016
    11:20am
    I honestly have not heard of such absolute rubbish -- it just shows the mind set of those that get caught up in such ridiculous things I bet the Powers that be just love these types of NON-thinkers.
    Queensland Diva
    26th Jul 2016
    11:37am
    Pretty tough comments. Personally I have no interest, but if others like it, who are we to complain. It certainly beats sitting in front of a screen "killing" people and becoming hardened to crime. Don't be such an old grump.
    PlanB
    26th Jul 2016
    12:46pm
    Whats wrong with people that they don't go and watch and enjoy nature -- -- I still say that if that all they have to do then I feel for the planet -- as shows what bloody zombies we have as people
    particolor
    26th Jul 2016
    2:06pm
    Queensland Diver !! I've Almost seen 2 People Skittled :-( :-(
    particolor
    26th Jul 2016
    2:03pm
    Never seen anything so stupid ?? They may as well have Handed out Blindfolds !! :-(
    Gee Whiz
    26th Jul 2016
    3:14pm
    Highlights once again the failing mentality of the modern world.

    A newspaper has reported that some people have become so involved in chasing fictitious Pokémon's they are quitting their jobs to go and look for them.

    And these people breed and vote.
    PlanB
    26th Jul 2016
    3:53pm
    Yes Gee Whiz its a scary thought isn't it, bet the powers that be love them though -- easy led / don't give a *&^% live in La La land and don't have *&^%$#@ clue about anything
    Sue L
    26th Jul 2016
    9:18pm
    Wow what horrible comments. I think it is a good thing people are getting out and about and interacting with each other. I have seen parents out with their kids and groups of friends all interacting and out and about. Also, most of the Pokestops are places of interest, churches, murals, etc so it is very interesting. News reports only report the bad things not the good. Don't knock it if you haven't tried it.
    PlanB
    27th Jul 2016
    6:07am
    So Sue these idiotic people have to have pretend things to get them OUT ? because they have no brains to want to investigate things b4 that -- amazing
    Gee Whiz
    27th Jul 2016
    8:03am
    Sue L is obviously a Pokémon addict with nothing constructive or better to do except play silly games.

    You shouldn't need an addictive electronic game to get you out and about to see the beautiful world we live in.

    Your own nature and intelligence should be enough for you to stop playing with game consoles and just go outside under your own steam and take in the beauty of this planet.

    Sue L you are being manipulated without realizing it. Your brain is being controlled by a toy manufacturer.

    Be your own person controlling your own destiny and stop relying on a toy that will eventually become just another piece of electronic junk.
    Strummer
    27th Jul 2016
    8:45am
    As long as people don't become obsessed where's the harm?
    *Loloften*
    27th Jul 2016
    8:27am
    "Let's not dwell on the negatives!!??" Those negatives definitely need to be "dwelled on." I've almost run over 3 teens just in the past 48hrs - all with heads down & not the slightest look sideways/up when ignorantly ambled across the road immediately in front of my car, just lucky that was in a school 40km zone with the 1st 2 as live close to a Secondary College. "Mum's pick-up time," all (& I mean ALL) is that they stay in car with head down on mobiles (great examples to kids) - one frustrated student had to knock on his Mum's (assuming twas his Mum) car passenger window for a few secs as she hadn't noticed he was waiting to get into the car & didn't open the door immediately!? The 3rd was soo lucky that I noticed his head down & mobile in hand so slowed down in anticipation that he may just walk across the road w/out looking, which he did right in front of me - still had to slam on brakes & my dog had a sudden dump to car floor!! I can't imagine if/how I'd cope if accidently killed someone's most loved child thru no fault of my own when they walk in front of car whilst on their mobile - most now playing Pokémon Go during all "free" time, it's an epidemic.
    PlanB
    27th Jul 2016
    12:06pm
    Lolo,I shake my head in pure DISGUST and think God help the planet with these morons !
    particolor
    27th Jul 2016
    4:22pm
    I saw another one nearly go under a car again ! Gut I think this one was only Watching Porn !! :-)
    particolor
    27th Jul 2016
    4:24pm
    PS... He nearly found his 72 Virgins :-) :-)
    PlanB
    28th Jul 2016
    6:50am
    LOL they would get a shock if it wasn't 72 virgins -- and instead was a 72-year-old virgin!
    shirboy
    27th Jul 2016
    1:46pm
    It's like a fictional paradise for nerds.
    particolor
    28th Jul 2016
    2:05pm
    New road sign..
    CAUTION!!
    Pokémon Nerds
    Next 16 Km's
    :-) :-)
    Pinky
    28th Jul 2016
    9:34pm
    I'm 67. I'm going to give it a go! Hee hee. I think I'm open minded enough to see what it's all about! My husband and I walk along the foreshore where we live almost every day of the year. We have been noticing these young people that we've never seen before, walking along in pairs, mostly. They must be playing Pokemon. They look like pleasant, well dressed, healthy young folk that have suddenly 'come out of the woodwork'. Where have they come from we wonder? It's a pleasant surprise seeing all these new faces walking along and what's more, they are smiling and look happy even if they are engrossed in their screens! Come on you grumpy old farts...give it a go!!!! Hee ha!
    Sue L
    28th Jul 2016
    9:41pm
    Nice to see someone who is open minded and willing to give something different a go. My adult daughters play - it one is a nurse and she plays it while out walking her dog, another is a single mum and she plays it with her 6 year old son. It gets her out of her house and helps with her depression caused by losing her baby boy to SIDS last year.
    PlanB
    29th Jul 2016
    4:56am
    I have got far better interesting things to do.
    Sue L
    29th Jul 2016
    7:08am
    Each to their own Plan B no need to sling mud at the interests of other people. You have no idea where other people are coming from as we have no idea where you are coming from.
    *Loloften*
    29th Jul 2016
    11:34pm
    Live very close to a Secondary College, yet again while vigilantly backing out of my driveway, nearly ran over a group of 3 students with their heads down on their mobiles as were their Mum's close by/parked, waiting to pick 'em up!?? None of them watching was happening ard them. This game will prove fatal soon, almost did yesterday when someone playing it crashed into a home, lots of angst & heartache for the homeowners, thankfully no significant injuries sustained by the driver.

    17th Sep 2016
    7:57am
    For all those Pokemon addicts out there here is something to make finding the little critters easier.

    Foxy, I know you are a fan ;) so get in line girl...they will be available here in OZ from yesterday.

    "Pokemon GO Plus is a gadget similar to a wristwatch but attached with a clip that connects to the game.

    The device, which costs around $US35 ($A47), is connected to the mobile phone via Bluetooth, and through a led light (green or blue) and vibrations notify the player when there is a 'poke stop' or a Pokemon nearby, which can then be captured by pressing the device button without any need for the phone.

    The peripheral add-on is available from Friday in most countries - including Australia, said game developer Niantic in a statement."


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