Pokemon Go is all over the news right now, but what exactly is it?
Well put simply it’s a way to catch actual honest to goodness Pokemon in the real world! It’s a mobile game which starts out with the player creating a male or female avatar with a unique name and look which you can choose yourself.
Then you arrive in the game map and you might find it looks a bit familiar, that’s because it roughly mirrors the real world around you, including roads and local landmarks – like a primitive Google Maps!
The reason for that is Pokemon Go is an augmented reality app, which uses elements of the real world which is built up by virtual elements. It gets more interesting still when a blip appears on the map along with an animation of a hedge rustling. Walk close to this place (in real life!) and a Pokemon might appear, right in your phone screen. Flick a Pokeball and hopefully you’ll capture the little guy!
That’s the job of augmented reality – using the real world and the camera to bring you something that exists in both a real and virtual space. Finding the Pokemon is easy and once you catch them you can upgrade by capturing more.
Once you have a few Pokemon you can find yourself a fight at a gym, which also appears on the map in popular areas and mix with other folks at Pokestops.
The game was developed by the team behind Ingress, another popular game that used augmented reality, and it has quickly exploded in popularity. The app is more popular than Tinder already in the States, after less than a week of release.
It’s a pretty genius idea and it seems to be working really well with those who have played. The huge demand at launch has slowed down the international rollout somewhat so we’re going to have to wait a little while longer to get the official version in Ireland.
A word of warning for when it does release – it’s important to keep an eye on your surroundings rather than getting too buried in the game. We’ve heard of people being injured while roaming or ending up in some isolated or unsafe areas, so be aware of your surroundings at all times!