Immediately when Pokémon Go entered the market it hit the world by storm. In one week millions of people could be seen wandering the streets, staring down at their cell phones as they try to catch their favorite Pokémon (and avoid those pesky Pidgeys).
But how revolutionary is this new gaming craze?
The main criticism video games have is their myriad of health risks, such as carpal tunnel, weight gain, migraines, sleep deprivation, and many more. Yet, Pokémon Go has none of that. This game takes the wonderfully creative animals of Pokémon and allows you to hunt for them in your own backyard. It then rewards you for not only the amount of Pokémon you catch, but for the distances you travel, promoting a healthy lifestyle and gaming experience!
Now what does this mean for the future of gaming?
One word: immersion. The line between video games and reality is getting progressively more and more blurred. With products such as the VR being a smash hit, allowing the gamer to interact with the world in a more “physical” level. No longer will we press buttons and flick analog sticks, but actually move our bodies instead. You will be running through the battlefield in Call of Duty, climbing the towering palaces in Assassin’s Creed, wielding your sword and shield in Skyrim. Pokémon Go has ushered in a new era of gaming, one that will bring in an entirely different market of customers, and will hopefully, in time, create a more health conscious and active America. One where video games will be the most intense exercise regimen around!
Unfortunately, what I’m describing won’t be a reality for some time, possibly in the next twenty some odd years, depending if you’re an optimist or a pessimist. Yet, Pokémon Go has started this new path that video games will be going down. We’ve had some previously, such as the Wii, which attempted to revolutionize the gaming world. But it has fallen prey to the sedentary lifestyles of gamers. Pokémon Go, on the other hand, has already gained popularity with millennials from all walks of life.
The second most common criticism video games have are the lack of social interaction. Pokémon Go has avoided that vice, as well.
Pokémon Go encourages you to hunt with your friends. The Poke-Stops and Poke-Arenas allow you to meet up with real people in real life. Current video games, however, only allow you to meet other people through the screen. Making real friends with somebody online is borderline impossible, at least without the risk of finding a catfish. But in Pokémon Go making friends is as easy as bonding over Pokémon!
Sad to say, socializing has become a rare phenomenon in my generation.
Teenagers shuffle around the streets with their faces buried in their cell phones, bumping into each other like a horde of mindless zombies. Albert Einstein feared that one day technology will surpass human interaction, and that we will be a species of idiots, and that day has sadly come long ago. Granted, Pokémon Go still involves players to stare down at their smartphones, yet it still encourages friends and family alike to go out and catch ‘em all!