This is the dream of all childhood dreams come true. Even if you weren’t a devoted child fan of the franchise, you would have known it by name or by the little virtual pocket monsters that were and still are so widely popular with audiences of all ages.
Pokémon, now 20 years into success, has unveiled to Australian, New Zealand, and Japanese fans the Pokémon GO App – an ambitious augmented reality game that uses mobile devices, allowing players to experience, capture Pokémon (pocket monsters) and battle it out with others in the real world. The app itself is free with in-game purchases and a few accessories, including the GO wristband/watch that will enhance the experience of the mobile game. Up to date, this is one of the most important games ever in history to be developed by Nintendo.
Debuting 20 years ago in 1996, Pokémon has generated roughly $45 billion in revenue from games to films and merchandise, being dubbed the ‘Star Wars’ of video games. From teaching audiences about companionship to working hard to reach all your goals (and everything else in between), Pokémon has had a massive cultural impact both within Japan, the country of its origin and overseas, respectively due to its domination of entering different mediums to advertise and appeal to its fans. It became so popular that within the last two decades of its existence, there have been timeless references to the series with occasional parodies and the franchise even appearing on a reality T.V show.
The vast majority of the first generation fans (like myself) have grown up with Pokémon and it’s no secret that everyone’s wished that ‘Pokémon were real!’ With over 600 different variations of pocket monsters to choose and collect, who wouldn’t want one as a companion? The app, which has been swarming with interest and anticipation for months since a video teaser was released, will allow players to use GPS-location on their phones to find Pokémon in the real world.
Whether you’re walking down the road or just lazing about at home, the game is designed to have these cute virtual monsters popping up anywhere at any time. Even real-world locations have become designated PokéStops where players can battle and buy items for the game. Incredibly, the app takes note of the player’s geographical surroundings, which means living near the beach will allow for more water-based Pokémon to be caught.
While this new game is having fans in a frenzy to get out there to catch ‘em all, many authorities, including one Darwin police station, have warned for players to be careful and aware of their surroundings in case they become too engrossed in the game. It’s understandable though, because who could ever think that one day you’d find Pikachu down the road?
Did you grow up with Pokémon?