Pokémon GO is the newest game that is literally sweeping the nation with childhood memories. If you're not sure what Pokémon GO is (are you living under a rock with no access to anything?) you're truly missing out. Whether you're a die-hard Pokémon fan or just starting the series for the first time, this game is definitely worth downloading. Here's 15 things Pokémon GO can teach the world.
15 Friendly competition
There are so many games where you have to battle someone else. Whether you're fighting against a real person or a bot, things can get a little intense. Many times, you hear about younger children fighting over their headset with teenagers and vice versa. Bad language is exchanged, you could be banned, or even worse, you might get so angry that you throw your controller (or phone) and break something.
With Pokémon GO, you're unable to say anything to the other player. You go to a gym, and the Pokémon battle. It's a fair fight, considering a lot of people won't enter the gym battles until their Pokémon is a high enough level (or in this case, has high enough combat power (CP)). So in order to compete, you have to go out and level up your own Pokémon. Competition is a thing of life!
If you're not onboard with Pokémon, you might be asking, "What does a Pokémon trainer do?" We don't just go around catching wild Pokémon and then leave them in our inventory. One of our jobs is to evolve them (which is gamer talk for helping them grow). If we neglect our Pokémon, they'll stay weak and helpless. They won't learn new tricks for battle, and will most likely lose any battle they attempt to go in. Plus, when you evolve a Pokémon, they start to look cooler. If you want a super strong Pokémon, keep evolving them! (Note: you need to continue to catch wild Pokémon in order to level up your favorite Pokémon. The more you catch, the more candy you'll receive, allowing you to evolve and upgrade your Pokémon to its full potential).
13 Augmented reality
How awesome is this feature? Pokémon GO allows you to catch Pokémon by using your phone's camera. Look at the image above, you can see a Horsea Pokémon on the beach! Of course, this Pokémon isn't really there (bummer). The augmented reality (AR) feature shows us what it would be like if wild Pokémon roamed the earth with us. Augmented reality is the future of gaming. It uses the environment you're in and overlaps game information on top of it, which brings your home, office, park, or beach to life with your favorite game characters. Being able to actually play the game as if you were inside of it is truly an incredible experience. More and more game designers have been working on creating products for AR. Expect to see more of this in the near future!
12 Bringing old and new gamers together
One of the best things about Pokémon GO is that the audience playing is diverse in age. Gamers range anywhere from 10 to thirty, if not older or younger. Everyone is coming together to catch wild Pokémon, and helping one another out. Let's say you set up a lure at the park. Nine out of 10 Pokémon players are going to come near the lure to catch Pokémon with you. I myself have gone to lures others have set up, and caught Pokémon with them. (I'm in my early twenties, these kids had to have been fifteen or sixteen). Most of the time, conversations start with, "Hey! Are you playing Pokémon GO?" followed by, "Nice, what Pokémon have you gotten so far?" It's awesome to share knowledge with gamers, plus it's a good way to learn tricks you didn't know about!
11 Staying connected
Have you heard of Pokémon GO Plus? It's a Bluetooth wristband that you can wear or carry around with you no matter where you go. I personally don't think I would get one of these, but for die-hard players, this is pure gold. This Bluetooth device will actually play the game for you. When there are Pokémon near by, the center of this device will turn green. All you have to do is press the button, and wait for the vibration notifying you that you caught the Pokémon. How cool is that? Be careful, though! This device will only catch Pokémon that you've already caught. If there is a new species of Pokémon you haven't captured yet, you have to do it by hand on your phone. Make sure you read up on this device before you buy it!
This device also notifies you when you're near PokéStops, which are places all around the world to fill up on Pokéballs, eggs, and all kinds of other awesome supplies. The release date for Pokémon GO Plus is said to be July 31st. This would be a great device for players that work a lot, but don't want to stray from their work. That way, you can stay connected to the game no matter what you're doing.
10 Staying active
Have you seen the amount of people walking around lately? Although you might think they're walking like mindless zombies staring at their phones, they're actually looking for Pokémon around them! This feature on the game is absolutely genius. The fact that more and more people are going for walks is amazing. Granted, they're only going to catch Pokémon, not because walking is healthy for them, but it's still a great way to get a small workout in once or twice each day. This is one of the first games of its kind, and it completely obliterates the idea that all gamers are lazy or unhealthy by sitting in front of the TV all day and night. Who knows, maybe as more of these kinds of games come out, we'll see a total culture shift in the way gamers are viewed!
9 Exploring new places
Pokémon GO will take you places you never thought you'd go just to catch a wild Pokémon. For example, it might take you into a new restaurant, park, or street that you would have never gone to. This is both good and bad. It's good because you're experiencing new places. You might find that you really enjoy where your Pokémon game is taking you. You could find new hang out spots or even meet new people. The bad part about this is that it might take you down a dark alley way, into a broken down building, or even into unfamiliar woods. Please, walk with caution when going into unsafe places. You never know what (or who) is living there, and might be in for a shocking surprise. As long as you use common sense, you should be good to go!
8 Teaches the importance of patience
Patience. A word which here means, "I have to wait how long for Pokémon to respawn?!" When you tell a gamer to be patient, nine times out of ten, you're going to get the death glare. Patience is a virtue that many gamers just don't have. However, Pokémon GO is teaching us that in order to catch multiple Pokémon, we need to walk around our neighborhoods and patiently wait for wild Pokémon to pop up. Unless you're using incense or a lure (cheater!), you're going to have to be patient while these Pokémon spawn near you. Don't get too worked up over this, though. Before you go and delete the game or get aggravated, think about why you have to be patient. Perhaps, you caught the maximum amount of Pokémon at that time (which is 250. If you want more Pokémon in one go, you'll have to buy additional storage). Patience is a good thing to have in the real world!
7 Promotes awareness
The thought of teenagers walking around mindlessly while looking at their phone kind of scares me. However, this game promotes awareness. Before you start the game up, a screen will pop up on your phone alerting you to be cautious and mindful when playing. As you continue to play the game, you'll start to get used to playing while paying attention to your surroundings. Therefore, you will learn to stay alert of your surroundings, despite being distracted by what's in front of you. This is another brilliant feature of the game. Awareness is something that a lot of people lack, and is one of the leading causes in accidents involving pedestrians. When you're playing the game, you'll be looking at your phone as well as what's around you. When you go to catch a Pokémon, you don't need to continue walking. You can stop in your tracks to collect it, and then continue on with your walk. How awesome is that?
6 Teaches you how to navigate a map
How many of you can honestly say that you know how to read a map? We've been spoiled with Garmins, Google Maps, and Siri. Reading maps is no longer needed to get from point A to point B. However, it's still a great skill to have. Pokémon GO uses the location feature on your phone, which picks up the GPS signal of where you are/what's around you. It then places you on a virtual map of your surroundings, showing roads, stores, houses, and parks.
If you live close enough that you can walk to work, or a local store/coffee shop, why not pull Pokémon GO out of your pocket and follow the map? No, you can't select your destination while playing the game, but if you know where it is, you can follow the roads to get there. This is such a great way for younger people to get to know their neighborhood without the help of a smartphone. Give it a try the next time you want to go somewhere near your house!
5 Introduces you to new people
Since Pokémon GO is so popular and everyone is playing it, you will be able to meet new people around your town. Going to places where lures are set up is a great way to meet new people. Additionally, the people you meet will be playing the same game as you so you'll already have something to talk about. You never know, you could start talking about Pokémon and conversation might lead into something totally different. You could end up meeting a lifelong friend, or even your soulmate while simply wandering around town from PokéStop to PokéStop. Oftentimes, the hardest part of talking to a stranger is that you don't know what to talk about, but using Pokémon to bridge the gap can go a long way towards removing the awkwardness between the two of you. Who would have thought Pokémon could be such a great way to meet new people?
4 Dedication and persistence
Do you think us Pokémon Trainers obtain Pokémon on our first throw? If you do, you're sadly mistaken. Although it does happen, a lot of the time, the Pokémon dodge the Pokéball, and you have to continuously throw more just to catch it. It can take a little bit of getting used to, but once you have the hang of it, it'll only take 2-3 throws to catch a wild Pokémon. You need to be dedicated and have persistence when catching wild Pokémon, as well as training them for gym battles. You can't expect your Pokémon to level up on its own. You need to put time into your Pokémon, and allow them to power up and evolve before you try out a battle. Similarly to most things in life that are worth it, training Pokémon takes a lot of dedication and time, but it's well worth it.
3 Teaches about business
If you're one of the lucky businesses that has become a PokéStop, you should feel honored. Not only will people come in to claim the rewards PokéStops have to offer, they might just realize that your business is something they're interested in. Maybe you have a small food business and large groups of people may start coming in more to eat while collecting items from the PokéStop. Not only do they get things they want, but you get what you want as well. More business, more publicity, and more money. Even if they only order dessert, I can almost guarantee you that they'll be telling their friends about the PokéStop you have, as well as the delicious food. It might seem overwhelming at first having so many teenagers and young adults at your store, but trust us, it'll be great in the long run.
2 Resource management
A Pokémon trainer needs resources. Where do we obtain our resources? At PokéStops, of course! When you go to a PokéStop, you have the chance of getting rare items, such as egg incubators, Pokéballs, lures, incense, and more. All of these will help you obtain more Pokémon while playing the game. You can find PokéStops nearly everywhere in your town. In the above picture, there is a PokéStop featured at an ice cream joint as well as a baseball field. Where I'm located, the closest PokéStop is at a run-down lace factory. Make sure you fill up on resources—you'd be surprised how fast you go through them.
Managing your resources is important, you need to know how much of what you have in your inventory. If you run out of Pokéballs, you won't be able to capture any more Pokémon, so you need to keep a close eye on your Pokéballs and refill them when you get low. Think about what resources you need in real life. If you're low on food, you aren't just going to let it go. You'll end up going shopping to replenish your supply. Managing your resources is a key factor in life, as well as in Pokémon GO.
1 The world changes in the blink of an eye
Pokémon GO came out less than a week ago, and it has already blown up and gotten millions of downloads. It was an overnight success. Like everything, the way you play video games is drastically changing. From augmented reality to GPS locations, the way you game depends on your choices. Do you want to go up the road or down? Do you want to travel to find new Pokémon or stay local and hope they eventually show up in your location? What you choose to do is all up to you. With older games, the story line is made for you. You follow what the developers created, rather than choosing your own path. In order for us to grow as humans, we need a certain amount of change every so often. With technology expanding, we're able to see a future with space drones, robots, and self-driving cars. If that doesn't excite you, I'm not sure what will. Augmented reality while gaming is just a small stepping stone of what's to come. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to see what the future of technology has to offer.