There is a Pokémon craze nationwide once again. The new smartphone game ‘Pokémon Go’ was released on the 6th in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand, and in less than a week, there has been more than a million downloads. The first generation Pokémon game was first released back in 1996, and after 20 years the game was reborn with the use of the latest technology.
However, the craze about Pokémon Go is bringing both pros and cons. Although the game has a few pros including creating sympathy among generations and small retailers’ sales opportunities, there also has been cons such as crimes and a variety of safety accidents.
Pokémon Go uses a technology called ‘Augmented Reality (AR)’. With the use of AR, the familiar Pokémon characters such as Pikachu were able to come out of the Gameboy and lively move around in “real life”. For example, if players place their phone camera towards in front of their house, some hidden Pokémon characters will come out on the street on screen as if they were alive. Basically in any areas both inside and outside, players will get a signal when there are Pokémon characters around, and they can catch them by throwing Monster balls. Plus, you can train the Pokémons you have caught and compete with the Pokémons of other players.
Craze in Korean Community
Pokémon Go is also gaining many attentions of LA’s Korean community from teens to people in their 30s, who grew up with Pokémon. Rachel Choi (26) said, “A lot of my friends play the game, so I wanted to join. It felt very unique to play the game while actually walking around.” Michael Jang (29) explained, “I walked around my home with friends for the first time in a few years just to catch Pokémons. I also recommended the game to my parents to casually play during a walk.”
The O’Fallon, Missouri Police Department reported on Facebook that they “caught four suspected armed robbers who were hiding at places Pokémons appear and took people’s money and goods.” In Riverton, Wyoming, a 19-year-old girl found a dead body while walking around the river trying to find Pokémons. On the 9th, in front of a man’s house in Massachusetts, there were more than 10 strangers. They seemed like they were all filming towards the house. In fact, the man’s house was registered as ‘Pokémon Gym’ on the game. Pokémon Gym is a place where players can compete with each other’s characters. These incidents all happened during the three days after the game’s release.
The reason that even professional economists are analyzing the game is because of a variety of possible connections between the game and business. For example, if Pokémon Go tells its users that a rare character is at some McDonald’s, the players will crowd into that McDonald’s. In fact, a bar in Virginia is giving a 10% discount to Pokémon Go users, and a tea house in San Francisco’s Japanese town is providing a “1+1 promotion” for Pokémon Go users. Actually, the game’s developer Nintendo was able to “deal” with retailers about ‘where’ to hide the characters and ‘how many’ of them. Retailers are able to use the game as an advertising tool.
Original article available at http://www.koreadailyus.com/pokemon-go-what-is-behind-the-craze/
Translated by Audrey Joung