Pokémon Woah

Around 11 pm the other night, I noticed a congregation of teens wandering around the center of town. Out of context, this sounds incredibly sketchy—were they a cult? A gang? Had they been planning to rob the nearby Papa Gino’s? The only thing scarier than high schoolers is high schoolers in groups.

However, on this occasion, I was not afraid. I, too, was wandering the streets of my hometown late at night. We weren’t so different, these intimidating teens and I. In fact, our mission was the same, and did not include holding up the local Papa Gino’s. Our mission was simply…to catch ‘em all.

Pokémon Go has taken a critical hit at our nation, and it was super effective (sorry). It’s obvious why: the app, available for iOS and Android, has revolutionized gaming. The stereotypical “gamer” sits in a dark basement for hours at a time, their face illuminated only by the harsh blue light of a TV or Gameboy screen. By taking advantage of smartphone technology, Pokémon has turned this standard on its head. The game is based on GPS information, so players need to go outside in order to seek out Poké Stops. Pokémon appear within your environment using your phone’s camera, giving the Nintendo classic an adorable, virtual reality-like twist.

The appeal is clear. Pokémon Go encourages players to be active, explore their surroundings, and socialize: a whole new gaming experience that even moms enjoy! Of course, players should take precaution. The hunt for rare Pokémon can last all day, so bring plenty of snacks, water, and a portable charger—the game drains an already weak iPhone battery. Also, be sure to always be aware of your surroundings. No Pikachu is worth risking your health for!

Pokémon Go’s incredible success is changing the way people think about gaming. Hopefully other classics will get an iOS makeover—can we expect a Zelda Go anytime soon?

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