by William Needham Finley IV™

Everything You Need to Know About Pokémon Go

in ITBNN by

This post was originally titled “Pokémon Go App Restores Virginity to Thousands” but then I downloaded the app and didn’t want to make fun of myself. To be clear, Pokémon was after my time. I’m of the TMNT, X-Men, Superman, and Batman generation. By the time Pokémon came around I was too busy working on the perfect AIM away message that would stand out in the crowd of Dave Matthews Band lyrics or quotes from Dawson’s Creek.

Last week’s launch of the Pokémon Go app and its meteoric rise in popularity has brought up a ton of questions. I had to Google “What gender is Pikachu?” while writing this. (Answer: male). There are countless stories about the impact of this app (it’s added $9 Billion in market value to Nintendo), how to play (Six Pokémon Tips for the Ultimate Beginner), and what’s gone wrong so far. The Raleigh Public Record has a great recap of where to find Pokémon in Raleigh

Since I’m too lazy to read all of these, I discussed Pokémon Go with my new ITB Editors (more on that later) who know a lot more about the game than I do.

WNFIV: First, explain Pokémon to me. I had a younger cousin that was obsessed with this stuff. Growing up he had binders full of Pokémon trading cards next to his binders full of women. He got so many epileptic seizures from watching the loud brightly colored TV show that his parents had to monitor how often he watched it.

ITB Editors: Pokémon is a Japanese trading card game that was designed to brainwash American children and bankrupt their families. It began in 1995 and spawned a television show, movies, video games, and more. Pokémon, short for “Pocket Monsters”, are creatures found in the wild that each have different powers or skills. Pokémon Trainers (humans) try to “catch” these creatures using a Poké Ball, which is like the ghost trap in Ghostbusters, but in the shape of a ball. The Pokémon can evolve into better versions of themselves after being trained. Pokémon Trainers battle each other using the Pokémon that they have captured and trained.

WNFIV: Sounds a lot like dog fighting. So why is everyone obsessed with it now, just because someone made an app?

ITB Editors: This is a perfect storm of cool technology and capitalizing on childhood nostalgia. Last week, the Pokémon Go app was launched in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the United States. It uses the GPS in your phone to show where you are on a map in relation to Pokémon, Poké Stops, and Poké Gyms. When you encounter a Pokémon, the app uses “augmented reality” to display the Pokémon as if it were in front of you. Players physically have to walk around to find new Pokémon, with the goal of “catching them all” by throwing a Poké Ball at the object on screen. Players can join a Poké Gym and train their Pokémon to battle other Pokémon. So yeah, sort of like dog fighting, I guess.
Roast grill bat 2
WNFIV: Explain these Poké Stops and Poké Gyms more.

ITB Editors: When viewing the map you’ll see icons that represent Poké Stops and Poké Gyms.
PokeStopsPokeGyms
When you’re close to a Poké Stop you can tap the icon and spin the circle to collect items like Poké Balls, eggs, potions, and other things that will help you in the game. Here are a few examples of some ITB Poké Stops:

Snoopys stop
PR Stop

Poké Gyms are locations where teams train and battle Pokémon. You won’t be able to access the gyms until you’ve reached Level 5.

WNFIV: I want to make a Poké Stop at Broughton and a Poké Gym at the Alexander Family YMCA. Do that.

ITB Editors: We’ll get right on it.

WNFIV: A lot of my friends “don’t get it”. Are they losers or am I a loser for playing it?

Texts

ITB Editors: Some people think it’s pretty fun to walk around the city and find Pokémon that they grew up collecting. The game certainly isn’t for everyone, but the technology will surely be used in other types of applications. Think businesses having stops that you can check in to and get points for, sort of like Foursquare, if anyone gave a shit about Foursquare. We’re all winners here.

WNFIV: I’ve seen a lot of people say it’s absurd that grown adults are wandering around staring at their phones trying to catch fictional characters. Why are they so upset about this?

ITB Editors: Were the grown adults that were upset taking time out of their lives to complain on Facebook about other grown adults playing a game? And have those grown adults that were complaining ever shared an absurdly boring story about how the players on their fictional fantasy sports team came SO close to helping them win their fictional fantasy sports matchup?

WNFIV: Yeah…

ITB Editors: Pot, meet kettle.

WNFIV: Touché. I’m n0t big on walking, but I love knowing more about new things so I can be the authority on the topic when it comes up at cocktail parties. I’ll give this app a shot.

I was able to spot these two ITB Pokémon in the wild. Obviously, Gelheadasaur was at Solas, amped up on Red Bull and ready to fight.

Gelheadasaur Pokemon
Chargrillizard

After using the app over the weekend, my biggest concern is the lack of ITB related Pokémon. Video game designer Cliff Bleszinski and I had a serious discussion about this. (If you like video games that don’t require you to walk around in the heat, Cliff’s company Boss Key Productions has a new game called LawBreakers coming out soon.)
Tweet
This resulted in some great ITB Pokémon suggestions from Facebook:
Crowleysaur
K&WKauna
Scottyschu
RecordBarchu
BrothersPizzachu
WoolworthsArcadechu
Georgesluncheonettechu
JohnsonsPharmacychu
Hayes Barton Pharmacychu
NOFOmon
Snoopysaur
ABCstoreasaur
Charlotte’smander
JigglypuffABanks
RIPNelsonsaur
The PRasaur

I’ll try to work on getting these added to the game over the next few weeks.

The craze definitely isn’t just limited to Raleigh. The Durham Bulls are embracing the Pokémania by opening their park to the public for catching Pokémon.

And of course soulless Charlotte has come out as anti-Pokémon.
Charlotte

According to the Raleigh Public Record, there is a Poké Gym located at the NC General Assembly Building. That means within a few weeks Pokémon Go will be banned in North Carolina because the NCGA is unsure of the gender of certain Pokémon species. I still don’t know anything about the Pokémon that I’m catching, but my addictive personality will have me glued to this game for at least a few weeks. I’m going to go keep playing before it gets banned and try not to get hit by a car.

Important links for those of you already playing:
Ten of Raleigh’s Rarest Pokémon: And Where to Find Them
Andy, Opie & Magikarp: Fishing for Pokémon in Five Raleigh Parks
How to get Pikachu as your starter Pokémon
Your biggest Pokémon Go questions, answered
Poké’in Around Raleigh: Five Downtown Spots for Catching Monsters

Best Pokémon Go related #content I’ve seen so far:

How to kidnap a 28 year old in 2016. Follow: @futbol451

A photo posted by StreetArtGlobe (@streetartglobe) on

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