Pokemon Go: The New Addiction

In the 1990s, a game called Pokemon was released worldwide. It became the addiction of a generation. Now there’s Pokemon Go: the new addiction.

Pokemon Go is Nintendo’s first ever smartphone game. And they hit the jackpot. It’s already the most downloaded item in the Apple store. Nintendo stocks are soaring. This isn’t your 1990s Pokemon. Now, you look for Pokemon and other characters in the real world. It sounds like a simple concept. But this concept is taking off worldwide. Young and old play Pokemon go. So do all other demographics and cultures. The game may be Nintendo’s. But Pokemon Go was created by former Google subdivision Niantic. This game is unique for a reason. You use your smartphone as a mirror of the world around you. The game injects a Pokemon character somewhere in that reality image. Then you find it. Pokemon could be in the streets, or in your kitchen. It also uses mapping and GPS technology. You can turn neighborhoods and businesses into Pokestops. Tap on Pokestops. Swipe the coin in the center. You’ll get Pokemon balls, eggs and potions. The more famous the neighborhood is, the more Pokestops you’ll see. For example, you’ll see more Pokemon activity in South Beach Miami than you will in Medfield, Massachusetts.

I think that is what makes Pokemon Go so addictive. Yes, the characters are cute. But this game takes you to places very familiar. And it gives you an excuse to see places not very familiar. I’ve seen videos that show the Pokemon Go?experience. People are so into Pokemon they can’t get their work done. From where I stand, that’s not much of a parody. That’s real life. I’m old enough to remember when Pac-Man became so addictive. But with smartphones, and the easy access of smartphones, Pokemon Go addiction can get way out of control. Be careful out there. How many hours a day or week do you play Pokemon Go?

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