If you’ve been to downtown Macon, you have likely seen people walking with their heads in their phones swiping furiously. No, texting has not become more popular, Pokémon GO has become a popular hit game that has brought Maconites into the augmented world of Pokémon.
The game truly comes into its own in an urban environment, where the many landmarks become in-game goals that encourage walking and discovering the history and culture of the community. Despite the usual problems that happen when anything becomes popular, the overall effect of the game has been overwhelmingly positive.
“It’s gotten me out of my house and walking around the neighborhood. I’ve also discovered a few things I had no idea existed” said one player.
Many of the downtown venues who are close to “Pokespots” have also included the game into their offerings, including theme nights and drinks. If you are someone who compulsively plays video games, this might be a healthier option than those that are more passive. It is also a good way to meet new friends congregating around Pokegyms.
Most of the game is free, but there are in-game purchases available for those who want to take it to the next level. To help you make an informed buying decision, we’ve included a couple of charts that convert the in-game currency and items into dollars. If you know someone that could find this useful, freely share it.
Tips and tricks available at the end of this article.
If you have been on social media recently, you’ve already become aware of something called Pokemon Go, based on the world of Japanese Pocket Monsters or Pokemon. If you haven’t, you may have been surprised by families, college students and others cutting through your lawn or hanging around various landmarks after-hours.
Released Wednesday July 6, 2016 by Niantic Inc, the game is an “augmented reality” game in which players attempt to catch Pokemon to compete for control of virtual spaces known as gyms. The game takes people to various locations in the real world similarly to a scavenger hunt. The difference is that the items are virtual items in an augmented reality.
Augmented reality is similar to virtual reality except that instead of being completely immersed in an artificial environment, characters and objects are projected onto your device’s screen as it displays a camera view. In Pokemon Go, Pokemon such as Pikachu are distributed across the world using a Google Maps like interface.
As you travel in real life, your location is updated on the virtual map and hidden Pokemon become visible for you to catch using your mobile device. In order to catch your quarry, you also need to collect objects like pokeballs, candy, lures and incense. These are obtained from either an online store or by swinging by points of interest around the city called pokespots. Pokespots are generally things like monuments, churches, parks and other places that might interest a visitor. In this way, it encourages the user to see culturally significant places in their own community, generally on foot.