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“Are you playing Pokémon GO?”

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“Are you playing Pokémon Go?”

In the last two weeks I’ve been made this question dozens of times. However, it’s not like with Clash Royale or other games in which it’s been Diego, my eldest son, who has insisted to me so much. This time, the pressure has come from friends and colleagues at work.

Pokémon GO was activated in Chile and other Latam countries in August 3rd. Next morning, when I arrived to the office I found that 4 of every 5 of my colleagues were talking about the game and showing each other the Pokémon they captured while coming to work.

From the other 20%, half of them had gone to the street to “buy something for breakfast”, walking to a place where surprisingly there was a Pokémon concentration or a Pokéballs recharge station.

I could not help saying loud:

“Is this a joke? Are you all seriously hunting Pokémon? I will never play a game like this one!”

Since then, my colleagues are pretty sure that Diego will eventually convince me and make me install the game and that, just as it happened with Clash Royale, I will like the game and I will end up writing an article in Papa Game Dev recognizing how much I’ve been playing.

Today, I need to confess that a few days ago I installed Pokémon GO.

Pokémon GO profile
My just created Pokémon GO profile

But to the disappointment of my comrades, after really making an effort and trying the game for a couple of days, I did not like it at all.

I felt ridiculous pointing the phone in the street trying to capture a Pokémon. Even more, I felt ashamed of people watching me, so I avoided playing in crowded places.

Finally, I uninstalled the game. So I insist on what I said two weeks ago:

I don’t like Pokémon and Pokémon GO is not a game that I want to play.

The Pokémon GO phenomenon

It must be said: I am the weird guy in this story. For the rest of the human race, or a large portion of it, the game seems to be fun.

Since its announcement, in 2015, there was a great expectation. First, because Nintendo was finally landing on the mobile devices market, or at least one of its strongest brands. Second, because of the huge Pokémon brand fan base.

The promotional video on YouTube also helped a lot with the hype.

Pikachu in Pokémon GO
In the Pokémon video trailer, the Pokémon are 100% immersed in the real world. Pikachu even leaves a shadow on the ground and its tail is shaded by the wall on the left.

Pokémon in the real world is, obviously, an idea that draws attention. The actual game experience, of course, is not like the video shows and any player can realize that after playing a few minutes.

Pokémon GO screenshot
In practice, the Pokémon in Pokémon GO are simply an overlay on top of the camera image. There is a small and diffuse shadow beneath them that sometimes seems to really be on a surface.

Regardless, the game has already been installed tens of millions times, and many users are still playing it.

I really wonder:

Why has the game done so well?

Is it only because of the Pokémon brand strength?

Is the experience of playing it so entertaining?

Is it only about because it is new, and its popularity will soon disappear?

Anyway, it does not matter what do I think, or if I like it or not. Pokémon GO is a global phenomenon.

Do you play Pokémon GO? What do you like about it? Do you believe you will still be playing it in three months or in a year from now?

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Juan Pablo Lastra

Juan Pablo makes videogames since he was 8 and he is a father since 2004. Today, he has three children and he has worked in more than 20 videogames. He got interested on how paternity and the videogame industry are related and he decided to write about it, founding "Papa Game Dev"

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