Travel across the land, searching far and wide. Or at least make your way to Millenium Park this Sunday for a “Pokémeeting” like no other. But first, catch up on catching them all.
From avid creature seekers to those with a curiosity that hasn’t yet evolved, the Pokémon GO craze is hotter than Charmander’s tail flame.
This strange and wonderful (and free) app where reality and the beloved Japanese franchise meet is drawing thousands. In fact, close to 9,000 of them (and counting) are scheduled to gather Sunday at 2PM near The Bean through a Facebook event. In just a few days, the Loop will be crawling with game enthusiasts, armed with backup chargers, Pokémon apparel and a destiny to fulfill.
Capturing these characters in the urban jungle of Chicago, nationwide, and most recently, the UK, means a once indoor concept is now al fresco. Nintendo delivered the virtual, mid 90s obsession that’s back to challenge fans with actually exploring outside their screen.
Fellow gamers are helping each other track down the coolest monsters, answer questions, and spy PokéStops. Players are navigating neighborhoods, commuting with a purpose and cheering on their respective teams, once they reach level five (Instinct – yellow, Mystic – blue, and Valor – red). Who knew so much bonding (and friendly battling) could have originated from a red and white sphere.
Score, as long as trainers remain aware…and look up every once in a while.
The app has spawned injuries, offenses, and controversy (recurring game warning even urges players to heed surroundings), but overall, enjoyment and solidarity appear to be winning.
Even the real estate world is taking notice, capitalizing on the buzz by including Pokémon GO attractions in property listings and open house details. Potential homebuyers can tour a fleet of neighborhoods, attend showings and rank hot spots (for gaming and living), all while ramping up their Pokédex.
With some restaurants doling out extra for lures and others offering discounts to Pokémon GO users, it seems more than just the “catching” community is playing.
And despite the real risks from criminal to copyright infringement, the game feeds FUN and precedes a new nostalgia. You just have to wield the “Poképower” wisely.
Hack: To Catch a Pikachu (as your starter)
- Must be at the very beginning of your Pokémon GO experience.
- Be patient. Don’t be tempted by the adorable trio of original starter Pokémon that you’re “supposed” to pick from as Catch #1.
- Don’t catch them. In fact, walk away from them.
- Resist the urge to nab them as they reappear. Continue abandoning the water, grass and fire bunch.
- It will break your heart, but you must do this about 5 or 6 times, until…
- Your electric little friend arrives!
- Catch him, you rebel. Shout. Show all your human friends. Continue playing.