Latest News

This Is Why Everyone Is Talking About Pokémon Go

The story behind the craze

In case you’re wondering why your social media feeds are being bombarded with people losing their minds over Pokémon Go, we’ve put together a quick guide so you can keep up to date on the craze.

So, when did the Pokémon craze start?

It all began back in 1995 when the media franchise was created by Satoshi Tajiri in Japan. The concept was based on catching and training creatures called ‘Pokémon’, and going on adventures along the way. While it started as video games for the original Nintendo Game Boy, it quickly became a successful anime, trading card and toy franchise.

Now, it’s the third best-selling video game franchise of all time, beaten only by Tetris, and Mario in the top slot. And for most ’90s kids, it holds a very special place in their heart as part of their childhood!

What is Pokémon Go?

18 years after the first Pokémon Game Boy game was released, Niantic has developed a mobile game for iOS and Android devices which allows players to virtually catch Pokémon in real life using GPS technology.

The app shows maps, much like in Google Maps, and as you move along, Pokémon may appear along the way. You can catch them by flinging Pokéballs at them, and the more you catch, the faster you can fill up your Pokédex (kind of like an encyclopedia for Pokémon).

The game encourages you to exercise, as it is much easier to find Pokémon by moving around, and you can find useful items at ‘Pokestops’, which are often landmarks such as buildings, parks, and even street art. Sometimes mostly well-known landmarks are Pokémon Gyms, where you can battle gym leaders.

If you’re having trouble picturing it, check out this trailer which started the hype:

Why all the fuss about it?

Pokémon Go already has more downloads than dating app Tinder (and is even being used as a dating app in some cases!), being downloaded on at least 3% of Android phones. It is even approaching the popularity of Twitter! But why has everyone rushed to grab it?

Pokémon Go appeals to a lot of different audiences – it has the nostalgia factor for Gen Ys, but it is still an extremely popular franchise amongst kids, with new video games Pokémon Sun and Moon coming to Nintendo 3DS in November, the seventh generation of the series. It is essentially a childhood dream come to life, a chance to be a kid again!

The app has also had a significant impact on the mental health of fans, with many telling BuzzFeed News that it has helped them overcome the effects of social anxiety and depression by getting outside, meeting other players and exploring.

The game is very social, allowing people to collaborate and battle in teams, and drawing people to similar places to find items and catch Pokémon. It provides a great casual icebreaker to make friends, and a more interactive form of gaming.

And there’s no reason why you shouldn’t join the fun! Pokémon Go is free to download on iOS and Android, so go out and get exploring!

Related stories