Pokemon Go?

There have been many popular mobile games in the past that have gone viral.  It doesn’t happen slowly either.  Between social media, and every other source of information on the internet, people are quickly able to jump on any new trend for the Android, or Apple smart phones.

Between the competitive nature of a human being, and the fact that nearly everyone has a smart phone in their pocket, mobile games can easily become a hit.  We’ve seen it with games such as Angry Birds, and Flappy Bird.  The present-day sensation that everyone by now has at least heard of is the mobile game known as Pokemon Go.  This particular game can be called the most popular of any other mobile phone game so far.

What made this one so much more popular is the fact that it’s a game from a pre-existing and very successful franchise for more than two decades.  Of course, the name of that very franchise is Pokemon.  They essentially made an addictive game from a popular name, and inadvertently developed that game for the very device that’s most prevalent in the age group that’s most nostalgic toward that very same popular name.

Another thing different about this particular game is that it promotes a lot of exercise.  It works based off of the GPS, and a map interface.  The only real way to go out and catch Pokemon is to walk out physically into the modern wilderness to find them.  Once you’re within one of the GPS locations they’ve generated a virtual Pokemon, an indicator pops up allowing a little mini game to catch them.  It also has various rewards for walking distances as far as ten kilometers.

The exercise involved isn’t necessarily a feature that gives people an incentive for playing the game it’s more like the other way around.  People who didn’t often go out to exercise are now using the mobile game as an excuse to do so.  It keeps them much healthier than they used to be, and they feel great about it.

Between the incentive to exercise, collecting Pokemon, competitive nature, and much more, they’ve created the perfect storm that most application developers could only dream of.

As an individual who’s naturally skeptical about the things that are good in life, I have a difficult time finding a fault in this mobile game myself.  I’ve been playing it almost religiously at least four days a week, and have ran into a lot of old friends I haven’t seen in half of a decade that I wouldn’t have ran into otherwise.  Strangers who would’ve done everything they could to avoid social interaction with the people around them are exchanging information and having pleasant conversations with each other.  With such a fun common interest it’s doing a lot of good for those working out their social anxiety.

I’m starting to believe now that you’re more likely to meet the love of your life playing Pokemon Go than signing up for a professional dating website online.

Of course, there is a monetary inspiration for the developers, and companies involved.  Although the mobile game Pokemon Go is free to download, there are numerous in-app purchases available to help the player continue playing effectively for as long as they want.  In my personal opinion, they’ve earned every bit of money they receive.  Creating a mobile game for Android, and Apple smart phones aren’t easy.  Many spend years of their life trying to do it and fail as a result.  There has already been at least one update increasing the difficulty of the game, and encouraging more in-app purchases as a result, but it’s not bad enough for me to call it greed yet.

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