Joe Goes and Asif Ali Play Pokemon Go
Pokémon Go (stylized as Pokémon GO) is a free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game, developed by Niantic and published by The Pokémon Company as part of the Pokémon franchise. It was released worldwide in July 2016 for iOS and Android devices.
The game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual Pokémon who appear throughout the real world. It makes use of GPS and the camera of compatible devices. Although the game is free-to-play, it supports in-app purchases of additional gameplay items. An optional companion Bluetooth wearable device, thePokémon Go Plus, is planned for future release and will alert users when Pokémon are nearby.
The game received mixed critical reception, and attracted negative attention due to reports of accidents and public nuisance associated with it. However, it was the most downloaded smartphone app in the United States in its first three days of release, and was a boon to the stock value of Nintendo, which owns part of The Pokémon Company.
Pokémon Go has been credited with improving the mental and physical health of players suffering from depression and social anxietyNumerous players reported increased motivation to exercise and improved moods, and some experienced weight loss. Dr. John Grohol, founder of Psych Central, stated thatPokémon Go was unique in the magnitude of people “expressing the benefits of playing
to their real-world mental health status”. Grohol attributes the premise of the game, social interaction and fun rather than for exercise, as a key factor in its success. The social nature of the game provides easy avenues for those with social anxiety to interact with people of all backgrounds; strangers have shouted the phrase “Gotta catch ’em all!”—the slogan of the franchise—to greet each other.In contrast, Professor Daniel Freeman of Oxford University asserts that clinical studies are required to make definitive claims over the mental health benefits of augmented reality games
The app has led players to congregate near strangers’ homes, as in the case when a Pokémon Gym was placed near a church converted to a house. Other incidents include minor fall injuries and armed robberies.Residents of the Sydney suburb of Rhodes became fed up with large numbers of players gathering in their area,and threw waterbombs at visiting players. Players outside of populated, urban areas criticized the lack of PokéStops and gyms in their local area. The app was also criticized for using locations such as cemeteries and memorials as sites to catch Pokemon,including the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The game sparked complaints from Dutch company ProRail, who said that players had entered their railway tracks,and fire stations told players to not impede their staff by congregating outside.
Some early iOS installs of Pokémon Go required users to provide the app with full access to their Google accounts, thereby allowing the app to “access players’ Gmail-based email, Google Drive based files, photos and videos stored in Google Photos, and any other content within their Google accounts”. The Pokémon Company and Niantic responded to the concerns, recognizing that the iOS app, at the time, “…erroneously requests full access permission for the user’s Google account…”[ A subsequent iOS app update reduced the scope of access.