This past July, gamers across the world were introduced to Niantic’s Pokemon Go on iOS and Android devices.
The game, which broke the record for most downloads in the first week of its release on Apple’s App Store, was a hit, making more than 1.6 million dollars in daily revenue according to a July report on Techcrunch. Pokémon Go is a free to play, location-based game that allows to players to walk around in the real world and catch Pokémon. At HBA, many students are hooked into the game and can be seen walking around school with their phones catching Pokémon.
One reason why this game is so popular, according to its fans, is that it allows them to play a Pokémon game while traveling in the real world. Freshman Fisher Jardon said, “Walking around town with my friends, having the joy of battling gyms and catching Pokémon is much more fun than going on a Skype call or playing CS Ghosts until 3 a.m.”
In order to do well in the game players must know some strategy about the game of Pokémon itself. Freshman Michael Garces said, “Always save up on items you get at PokéStops so you don’t run out, bring an extra charger for your phone unless you want it to die, know where you are going at all times, bring friends with you, study the types of Pokémon and their effectiveness chart, save up on stardust and evolvePokémon to get more XP.”
But the game isn’t for everyone and it has a fair share of haters. Freshman Lance Tasaka said, “Well now that you made me think about it, the game isn’t bad it. It just doesn’t match what I know the Pokémon game to be. The old Pokémon games had a story to it but Pokémon Go doesn’t. [The old game] also had a good progression level in which the trainer had to have done enough training, and a strong enough team of Pokémon and move composition in order to pass a level. But in the Pokémon Go game, it is way different.”
Pokémon Go fans believe the game has potential to go much further. As the game develops, more Pokémon have been added to the Pokédex, a Pokémon catalog. In the original Pokémon games, there are seven generations of Pokémon and each generation has a set number of Pokémon. Right now, Pokémon Go features only first generation Pokémon. Niantic has said they will be adding new generations of Pokémon in the future. The game developer is also planning to add Trading, Breeding and 1v1 Battling to the game. Breeding would make it possible to breed two Pokémon to create a baby Pokémon such as Pichu, the Pokémon that evolves into Pikachu. 1v1 battling would give trainers the opportunity to battle their Pokémon against each other to become the higher level Pokémon Masters.
Even though Pokémon Go warns players during gameplay not to drive or trespass while playing, two California men fell off a cliff in North San Diego County while playing the game. In Baltimore, a man hit a parked police car because he said he was looking down playing Pokémon Go while driving. Freshman Kellen Chang said, “I ran into a street lamp while playing and it hurt a lot because it hit right on the forehead.” While freshman Michael Garces has yet to get into an accident while playing the game, he admitted, “I almost got into huge trouble when I trespassed into a parking lot to battle a gym late at night.”
At HBA, the rules of playing Pokémon Go in school is the same as any other game: Students are only allowed to play the game outside of class time. Every day after school, students can be seen congregating areas where Pokemon have appeared.