Pokémon Go: An Overnight Sensation

With it's quick rise to stardom, it is sometimes difficult to remember Pokémon Go was released only two weeks ago. Read below for a brief overview of the Pokémon Go App, student opinions on the game and more.

July 22, 2016

If you still haven’t heard of Pokémon Go, you are probably living under a rock…

Pokémon Go is unarguably the hottest game of the summer thus far. Developed by Niantic, a software development company based in San Francisco, California, the app was released on July 6, 2016 in the

Pokémon Go offers players an augmented reality in which Pokémon exists in the “real world.”

U.S. and Australia. Pokémon Go was an instant hit the second it hit the App Store and Google Play; the game skyrocketed the day it was released, quickly obtaining approximately 7.5 million downloads in the U.S. alone (as of July 11). The app has even bumped its publisher’s (Nintendo) stock almost 64 percent.

For those of you who still do not know what I am talking about, Pokémon Go is a location based, augmented reality video game that can be downloaded on iOS or Android smartphones. Now I understand that “location based, augmented reality” might sound confusing, so, let me simplify. Basically, through Google Maps (the location based part of the game), the app is able to track your location in the real world and your character in the game follows. The augmented reality part of the game lets one see Pokémon through his or her camera. The game generates Pokémon and puts them somewhere within one’s real world, which only they can only see through their camera. This game is an enormous breakthrough and stepping stone for augmented reality type games.

The game is awesome for the millennial generation because it actually makes the player get up and walk around. In order to find and catch Pokémon, one must walk around their neighborhood or city to find these creatures. The game even institutes PokéStops and gyms to get the player moving. These PokéStops give players free items such as Poké Balls about every five minutes (as long as the player is in the radius of the stop). PokéStops can also be used to one’s advantage for finding Pokémon. When a Lure Module is placed at a PokéStop, it attracts Pokémon for all players in the area. The gyms on the other hand, is where people battle.

Pokémon Go: A Fad or Here to Stay?

Undoubtedly, since its inception just over two weeks ago, Pokémon Go has become an extreme phenomenon. All throughout the nation, people of all ages have been playing the nostalgic game and particularly so within the Cherry Hill community.

East sophomore, Seth Treiman (’19) particularly believes Pokémon Go to be a refreshing game.

“In a world where we are often glued to our phones it’s nice to see a trend that brings people together and outside,” said Treiman. “The idea of going around the real world to catch pokemon is very intriguing.”

But what still remains unclear is as to whether or not the game’s popularity will remain steadfast among its fans or quickly flatline into oblivion.

“I believe the game will only get better and will stay extremely popular for about a year,” said Cedric Middleton (’17) who is optimistic about the future for the Pokémon Game.

It was fun at first but the gimmick wore off quickly.

— Seth Treiman

Jeff Wang (’17) agrees with Middleton, stating that his “experience has been amazing.”

“Just walking down the streets of Haddonfield, I have had many people join me in going to pokéstops and taking down gyms.” said Wang, “I can’t imagine the game ever getting old.”

But some are skeptic of the game, considering it to be little more than a fad. Treiman ended his journey to catch em’ all after a mere week of gameplay.

“It was fun at first but the gimmick wore off quickly,” said Treiman.

Kathryn Quay (’18) similarly believes that the game will “probably die down pretty soon,” but unlike Treiman she figures “why not get into it while it lasts.”

“Like most awkward kids, I liked Pokemon when I was young but I never expected to be so addicted to it when it came out as an app,” said Quay. “At first the whole idea of actually having to leave my house was a little weird but soon I found myself finding reasons to go out. It’s even bonded my siblings and I because we’re going out and spending more time together.”

Although Quay has received many positives from her experiences, she recognizes that there are several safety issues involved with the game.

Alison Mautner ('16) is outraged by Pokémon Go characters appearance at Auschwitz, and other Holocaust sites.
Screenshot by Ashley Cooper
Alison Mautner (’16) is outraged by Pokémon Go characters appearance at Auschwitz, and other Holocaust sites.

“People are walking with their face buried in their phone without any concern for what’s going on around them,” said Quay. “Cell phones have been a major distraction in the past, but this definitely does not help.”

Treiman also acknowledges the serious safety issues that have resulted since the game’s existence, though he does not completely blame the game for these occurrences.

“The app has led to car accidents and robberies,” said Treiman. “With the car accidents, I don’t really blame it on the app because it is the players fault for being so distracted. As for the robberies, well theres nothing to do about that except going pokemon hunting with a group during the day.”

Some East students believe that the game has now gone too far, disrespecting historic locations. Having recently visited Auschwitz on the March of the living, Alison Mautner (’16), a recent East Graduate, feels personally offended by recent reports of Pokémon characters showing up in sites of the Holocaust.

“I don’t play it and I think it’s unsafe, rude and stupid,” said Alison Mautner (’16).

From safety issues to offensiveness and even “fad” appeal, the combination of all this controversy may eventually bring Pokémon Go to an ultimate demise.


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