First came Twitter, then came Snapchat, and now—Pokemon Go? I'm sure that you've heard about the app that is absolutely taking over the world with over 30 million downloads as of last week. In only 13 hours, this app reached the top of the highest grossing app chart in the US. Freaking incredible.
If you are a '90s babies like I am, chances are that you know what a Pikachu is. Growing up I played all of the Pokemon games, collected the cards, watched the movies, and even had my very own Pokedex. As I got older my interests changed and I left my dreams of becoming a Pokemon master in the closet where my Pokemon cards now sit collecting dust.
When I heard about this app coming out I was very reluctant to download it. I mean, I’m 20-years-old now; the last time I threw a Pokeball was when my biggest concerns were what I wanted to do at recess that day. But, download I did and this game has been the reason for why my phone battery reaches 5% every day before noon. but also why I am in the best shape I’ve been in years. I have never been much of a “gamer” but I have slowly realized this has become more than a game to me and millions of other players. It’s become a reason for me to get out and explore.
If you don’t know how the game works here is the basic idea: you are a Pokemon trainer and your mission is to be the very best. This can involve catching Pokemon, training your Pokemon, and battling other players so that you can “win”. How does this all happen? BY MOVING. In order to advance in the game you need to get out and move. Whether you're walking to catch more Pokemon, to hatch eggs, or to explore to get new Pokemon, in order to succeed, the player has to move.
I've heard others say that this app is just another “Millennial gimmick” to keep us attached to our phones but I couldn't disagree more. Here is why I think Pokemon Go is the best app I have ever downloaded:
1. It gets people moving
One of the components of the app that really gets people moving is the egg-hatching feature. In the app, you can come across eggs that you have to “walk off” in order to hatch. Once the egg hatches, you get to keep whatever Pokemon is inside. Who doesn’t love surprises? The eggs range from having to walk 2 kilometers, 5 kilometers, or 10 kilometers. Personally, I am not much of a walker. If I want physical exercise, I am going to dedicate a chunk of time to a workout session. The thing is, walking can be just as beneficial and sometimes even better. Because of Pokemon Go, I have been walking every chance I get, on top of my typical workout regimen. I always allocate time into my day for things that I consider my “chill” time. This often includes binge watching Netfllix, snacking on something unhealthy while I vent to my roommate about my day, or aimlessly scrolling through my Facebook feed. Now instead of doing all of those stationary activities during my “chill” time, I elect to go on long walks in search of Pokemon. To this day I have lost 5 pounds.
2. People are getting out and being social
After the first week of the app being launched I noticed a HUGE increase people walking around the city, all playing Pokemon Go. After talking to several people, it seemed like most of them have never been out in the city, even though they had been living there for years. I am telling you this app may have been the best thing to ever happen to the introverted people of the world. They are getting out, making friends, and finding people with common interests.
3. People are exploring
One of the coolest aspects of the game is that it uses GPS technology that allows you to find Pokemon specific to your region. Want to find a water Pokemon? You’ll need to head to the beach, a lake, or a river. One of the coolest things I have found is that some of the best Pokemon are located at the top of mountains. Not the bottom, all the way at the freaking top. So what have I been doing on the weekends? I’ve been hiking every mountain I can find in my area. Would I ever have willingly done this with any other motive? Probably not. I have read some other pretty incredible stories about people kayaking to the middle of the ocean just to battle certain gyms. This is great stuff if you ask me.
What was your Pokemon Go experience? Tell us in the comments below!