The train carriage was completely packed when my phone buzzed in my palm. Excitement raced through me – it was close. Behind the man who was uncomfortably squished against to the middle carriage pole, and next to the old lady sitting with her trolley bag was Goldeen!
This situation raised a couple of issues: firstly, I looked like a massive creeper as I very obviously pointed my phone towards this poor man’s arse (Goldeen’s hiding place) and I even had a passenger next to me give me a disgusted look. Luckily, my poké passion outweighed my complete shame. Secondly, as my phone struggled hard to maintain a GPS signal in the train tunnels of Sydney and my battle with Goldeen took unusually long, my station came and I then had to shove my way through the peak hour congestion completely unprepared. AND I lost Goldeen.
Launched in Australia before many other countries (fuck yea, things are looking up down under), Pokémon Go is a free app for iOS and Android which uses your phone’s camera and GPS to fill the world around you with pokémon, basically realising the dream of every millennial. As you walk around, you’ll encounter wild pokémon living in tall grass, as well as gyms and Pokéstops. Here, you can battle other players around you (I got my arse handed to me), train and battle for control of gyms, collect extra free items and, obviously, catch ’em all. What a time to be alive!
While the augmented reality is AMAZING and I love the interaction elements of the game, there have already been some instances of poké-addicts getting too distracted.
Today, the Northern Territory Police station put out a PSA, warning budding trainers to look up every now and then.
The game also warns players that they are responsible for their own safety while playing and that they need to be aware of their surroundings.
While the new poké lifestyle might take a while to comfortably transition into everyday life, it’s hard to not through caution to the wind and get completely wrapped up in the new game. It really is immersive and nostalgic.