Sunday, July 17, 2016

Culture Lesson: Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO
 is a videogame sweeping the nation. The free mobile game is the latest installment in the very popular Pokémon series.

Pokémon was introduced to the market in Japan in 1996. The games were developed for Gameboy, and are known as Red and Green; the games were extremely successful and released internationally as Red and Blue in 1998.  Subsequent releases include Black and WhiteYellowGold and SilverRuby and SapphireSun and MoonX and Y, and Diamond and Pearl. In addition to the videogames, there have been several animated series, a number of manga series, and films.

The plot of Pokémon is that small, animal-like "pocket monster" exist in the world to be captured and trained. The monsters can then fight each other. The world is probably saved as a result. Pokémon Go allows the user to act as a trainer and capture pokémon in the real world environment; the monsters are found in habitats relevant to their personality. Water monsters are near water, and in the case of this stampede, a rare animal was found in its habitat, Central Park.

The game has caused some controversies, with people injuring them selves during play, and various sites and museums banning the game. The game is free to play, but requires data and swiftly uses the smartphone's battery.

(The games were popular with a variety of ages, but because it did so well with the single-digit set, I felt like I was both Too Cool and Too Old, which is to say, I've never played, and am happy to include feedback from real gameplayers.)

Additional Resources:
Pokémon GOWikipedia