You may have noticed legions of walkers with their phones doing strange things of late — particularly on The Strand. It’s certainly not your typical method of getting going and being active, but — as well as taking the world by storm — Pokémon GO is enticing North Queenslanders out of their homes to explore and catch Pokémon on their mobile devices.
Townsville tech experts Luke and James Cashion-Lozell from Cloud Three explain what this phenomenon is all about and how you can get involved locally.
“The amazing thing about Pokémon GO is the extraordinary take-up by users worldwide. This has resulted in huge numbers of people stepping outside and away from their lounges and televisions sets in numbers rarely seen before.”
Most would be familiar with Pokémon from the animated television series — especially if you grew up in the ‘90s — followed by the massively popular console games that have filled members of the gaming world with joy since 1998.
For those who aren’t; Pokémon are virtual creatures that live alongside people. Pokémon Trainers are people dedicated to collecting and training as many of the hundreds of different varieties of Pokémon in an effort to coach these creatures to win battles and “be the very best”.
Pokémon GO, developed by Niantic Labs, is a ‘capture-the-flag’ style augmented reality mobile application that requires users to travel to real world locations in order to catch Pokémon. Once a user has found a Pokémon in the wild they can use the camera on their mobile device to see the Pokémon in the real world. The likes of Pikachu, Psyduck or Abra could be sitting right in front of them on the footpath, on top of a car, at the dinner table — you name it, people have found Pokémon there.
With a team of trained Pokémon; users are encouraged to travel to landmarks called Gyms where they can collectively work together with their teammates to take the Gym over for their team.
“Similar to parents hiding vegetables in food, Pokémon GO is hiding active living in a game and it’s only just the beginning.”
The amazing thing about Pokémon GO is the extraordinary take-up by users worldwide. This has resulted in huge numbers of people stepping outside and away from their lounges and televisions sets in numbers rarely seen before.
While still a game, users of Pokémon GO have reported that they’re becoming much more active than they were before without even realising it. Similar to parents hiding vegetables in food, Pokémon GO is hiding active living in a game and it’s only just the beginning.
With more updates and more features to come, Pokémon GO is rapidly gaining in popularity with only a handful of countries released to-date. Whatever the reason for people being outdoors and walking around, it’s great to see such huge numbers becoming more active and creating a community of likeminded individuals with a common goal.
Facebook group Pokémon GO Townsville is hosting events that you can take part in for free. The next one is on Sunday, July 31 at 4pm at Jezzine Barracks. Find out more here. If you’re reading this after that date, keep an eye on their Facebook page for more with events scheduled for September and November 2016.