Pokmon Go Outside

2016-08-16

It’s highly doubtful that in the last few months, you have somehow gone without hearing news of Pokémon Go or coming across avid players in your day-to-day life. The game has inspired players young and old from across the globe, to dial in – and get outside (two terms which up until recently, wouldn’t have made sense in the same sentence).

If you’re not prone to gaming or game culture, you might be resistant to the entire Pokémon phenomenon which has come about in part due to a mix of nostalgia and a sense of community. Before you completely discount the concept however, consider the fact that in today’s struggling economy, with consumer debt on the rise and families struggling from one payment to the next, Pokémon Go has people leaving their houses, getting exercise, spending time getting to know their own communities and making new friends – all without having to spend a dime.

It’s no secret to learn that Canadians from coast to coast are struggling. And just leaving the house these days, seems to cost more than we’d like to admit. So maybe the Pokémon Go fad isn’t such a bad thing after all? If it is new to you, perhaps it would help to get a little back ground.

What exactly is Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go is a free-to-play mobile app that you can download for iOS or Android. The game centres on catching the popular pocket monsters by walking around the real world. In Pokémon, monsters roam the lands, and your job is to find, capture, and train them. Then you put them in battle against other players. Pokémon are the pocket monsters everyone is hunting, which can be found randomly in the wild. They hatch from eggs. You have to incubate the eggs by walking, which is why there you might be noticing so many players on the streets. All Pokémon have their own unique incubation cycle before they hatch. Typically the longer you have to walk for an egg to hatch, the rarer the Pokémon you’ll hatch. It’s official. An app that rewards you for walking. So 2 km of effort is great, but 10 km? Even better! Catching them requires Poké Balls, and you can attract more of them with Incense (they like nice smells, remember that when you take off your shoes after walking all over in summer looking for them,) or with Lure Modules. The Lure Module attracts more than one Pokémon, and can only be used by attaching it to a PokéStop.

In addition to randomly encountering Pokémon, many real world sites of interest have been made into either PokéStops or Gyms. At PokéStops, players can get items for free by spinning a disc with a picture which is a representative of that stop. At Gyms, players use their Pokémon to battle others. Whoever wins the battle, leaves their Pokémon at the Gym to collect a bonus of in-game currency.

Go Safe

Pokémon Go is a lot like texting in that it requires significant focus on your smartphone camera, which can be distracting and dangerous. Be sure to pay close attention to your surroundings, especially in locations involving traffic. You might also experience outdoors nuisances like bugs and sun exposure, depending on where you live and how often and intensely you play. Preparing yourself properly for your surroundings will allow you to go the distance and cash in on the opportunity to stockpile your Pokémon, be a tourist in your own city and meet other eager gamer’s from your community.

Next time you’re considering how to spend your downtime, you might want to consider ‘dialing in’ and getting outside with a few friends or family and Pokémon Go. After all, you might break a sweat, but you won’t break the bank!