THE app is not here but Pokémon is everywhere. Pokémon Go has kept players rapt since it launched on July 6 — at least, players in those countries lucky enough to already have the game.
The app has skyrocketed to popularity, even among people who didn’t take part in the Pokémon craze that took the 90s by storm.
Several major regions are left in wait, anxiety building within Pokémon fans worldwide who can do nothing but hope that today is the day.
The impact on South Africans has been astounding with thousands of South Africans who are determined to play along with the rest of the world even if its not in the App or Play store. The Times story by Nivashini Nair reported that some individuals are actually skipping work hours to ensure they hunt down a Pokémon.
SAPS Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo warns that gamers could be charged for trespassing.
“You can’t go into private property because that would be an offence and a crime of trepassing if the owners decide to take action. But besides that there are other dangers that come with it. Gamers could be mistaken for an intruder or a burglar and something more devastating could happen,” he said.
Pokémon Go is getting Indian youth to do what their parents never could
Young Indians are visiting temples more frequently—but not due to religious reasons.
The hit game Pokémon Go is drawing youngsters in India to visit temples as many “pokéstops,” or locations where you can find Pokémon, are located inside these places of worship.
“Playing Pokémon Go in India is almost a pilgrimage. Another user said he had been to six temples on his way back from work to catch Pokemon. Paying the game was helping another gain brownie points from his mother. “Me to Mom: Mandir hoke aa raha hu (I am going to the temple)—win-win situation.”
Safety is priority for Nintendo
There are even reports that paroled sex offenders used the game to lure children. The creators are working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to keep children safe.
How does Pokémon Go work?
“The moment they find their first Pokémon they are addicted. The idea of creatures hanging around in your environment, even if only virtually, is very compelling. It is the beginning of augmented-reality going mainstream, even though its users don’t realise it,” said South African technology market research firm World Wide Worx founder Arthur Goldstuck.
Although Pokémon Go has only been released in Australia, New Zealand and United States, the animated creatures can be found in South Africa as the app uses Google Maps to work.
Adam Oxford of tech website htxt.Africa said the unofficial app was proving to be “absolutely huge” in South Africa.
“A lot of people have gone out and downloaded the app because they have a United States or an overseas account. From what we can tell it’s working pretty well at the moment. But it’s really important to get across that if you are going to try and play it now, please be careful where you download it from.”
“You should always download it from an official app store. Because that way you have a fair degree of security that is not going to be affected by malware. Some of the applications that people have been downloading haven’t come from official stores. They have had malware infections obviously because the initially release is only a few countries,” he said.
Durban gamer Yasthil Luckan downloaded the game but gave up because it used too much data.
“I think I used around 650mb for less then an hour of gameplay, mainly because it uses your GPS. They spawn around where you are. So basically I can put my app on now, walk around and they’ll pop up.”
“I actually know a few people that walked over 15km last weekend just searching for Pokémon,” he said.
Sources: The Times, Polygon Pokemon