It’s taken the world by a storm. Almost overnight, people have taken to it and social media is abuzz with the activity and pictures of people and their childhood dreams. Pikachu on side of the road, a Charmander in the park nearby or even a Pikachu on the corner around your house – Pokemon have come back into our lives like never before.
It all started off in 2003, when Cartoon Network started a new series of the Japanese fame which included cute, cuddly and fantastically dangerous creations. The storyline was fantasy based, with young boys and girls going out in the world in search of ever rarer Pokemons, seeing new places, meeting new people (and Pokemon) battling evil and generally having a great time. It may have been a good 13 years since we first saw those cuddly things on our TV, but now, we its new avatar on our smartphones, things just went to a whole new level.
While not yet released in India, people have taken to the new craze with a vengeance. Bringing back memories of our childhood while we walk around looking for them in all the likely and many of the unlikely places, the GPS based app has done atleast one thing no one else can claim. Gotten the tech savvy youth to get out and walk around.
While the game is GPS based, most of the activity is limited to the location of the user. Which basically means, if you want to play it, you have to be moving around and not just sit at home in bed waiting for things to happen. Real world locations like churches, temples, parks, famous tourist attractions etc. have been designated as Pokestops for supplies and Pokegyms for battles between players and to train their Pokemons.
While there have been reports of people playing the game while driving around, or not paying attention and being involved in accidents, such incidents are yet to be reported in India. Warning signs have reportedly come up in the US asking people not to play the game while driving given the high risk of accidents while the driver is busy capturing a Bulbasaur they happen to spot on their mobile screens.
While India is still waiting for the official release of the game on Google Play Store and Apple Stores, android users have worked their way around by downloading the APK file directly on the phone and enjoying, mmuch to the jealousy of Iphone users. What is sure is that never has such a craze been seen ever before in the virtual world. So don’t wait around, go catch ‘em all!
Ranveer Raj Bhatnagar