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Pokémon GO! Mania

Entertainment, Pop Culture

Pokémon GO! is Sweeping the Nation

Pokémon has been around for 20 years now, and most people under the age of 30 have grown up with it. From the TV show, to the trading cards, to the video games, it has become a worldwide phenomenon. Now, with the much anticipated Pokémon GO! app finally available, it seems like the Pokémon franchise has another heavy hitter under its belt. With over 10 million American users in less than a week, Pokémon GO! has become the most popular handheld game in history!

Pokémon GO! is different from most handheld games these days, though. The game uses your phone’s GPS, and requires you to move about the real world in search of Pokémon. Where you live, and where you travel affects the Pokémon you can find in the wild. Players that live near the beach, for example, will find more water Pokémon.

True, you could always drive to new areas, park, and look for the Pokémon, but the game rewards those who walk with the possibility to hatch rare Pokémon from eggs. To hatch the eggs you have to walk, or ride a bike, 1.5, 3, and 6 miles (with the app open) to hatch the egg. Once you get over a slower speed, though, the game refuses to add any distance towards hatching the egg.

Pokémon GO! Gets People Up and Out

Not only has it encouraged players to get out and walk, it also encourages them to interact with other players in real time. There are areas around the world, called Pokéstops, that award you items, and can be used to attract rare Pokémon. Players often flock to one, and the more people playing the game in one area, the more Pokémon appear, and more often than not they tend to be rarer.

Each day in America, there is an average of 10 million players logging in and playing for an average of 43 minutes (though some players spend much more time on the game). If each player spends just half of that time walking, an average of 2 trillion calories is burned each day. What other video game can claim the same?

Love it or hate it, it looks like the game is here to stay. After all, is a game that is doing so much towards getting kids and young adults out and about really that bad?

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