Pokémania … how Pokémon Go, the bug catching game, is taking the world by storm
July 14, 2016
A short history of Pokémon
Pokémon games take place in a world populated by exotic, powerful monsters. They can look like rats, snakes, dragons, dinosaurs, birds, eggs, trees, and even swords. In this world, people called “trainers” travel around the globe to tame these creatures and, in an ethically questionable manner, use them to fight against each other.
Bug catching is a popular hobby in Japan, and this is where the games originated. The goal in every game, from the original Pokémon Red and Blue to the most recent Pokémon Sun and Moon, is to collect all of these virtual creatures. The first generation of Pokémon games began with 151 creatures, but the family has since expanded to over 700.
The games took the world by storm in the late 1990s. Pokémania was born. The original handheld games came out in 1998 in USA, followed by spin offs such as trading cards, merchandise, TV shows and movies.
But since the games came out for Nintendo’s handheld consoles, fans all around the world have shared a dream: What if Pokémon weren’t limited to the games’ world? What if they were real and inhabited our world? But Pokémon aren’t real, at least not yet.
However technology has evolved to be able to simulate a world in which Pokémon are real. That’s essentially what Pokémon Go attempts to do: By using your phone’s ability to track the time and your location, the game imitates what it would be like if Pokémon really were roaming around you at all times, ready to be caught and collected. And given that many original Pokémon fans are now adults, this idea has the extra benefit of playing to their nostalgia, and boosting its popularity.
Update 31 August 2016
What went well, and what didn’t … learning from Pokemon’s adventure into AR: