Pokemon GO was finally released after much anticipation from fans around the world. This app allows these Pokemon fans to "find" Pokemon in the real world. The app uses AR technology to make the Pokemon look like it is actually appearing in your surroundings. This brings a more realistic experience that 6-year-old me didn't even think could exist. This does pose a problem with people walking into things though there is a warning at the beginning of the game to make sure to watch where you are going
I downloaded the app as soon as it was available in the United States and my boyfriend and I began exploring Oneonta to see what we would be able to catch. After catching my starter, Bulbasaur, on my foot I had no luck finding anything else in my apartment. We walked near the first Pokestop which was at the Daily Star building and got rewards but we couldn't figure out how to catch any Pokemon. After I failed walk around trying to find Pokemon our servers crashed and we gave up for the night.
Today was a much better experience. We found that there is a way to see which Pokemon are close by looking at the number of footprints under its picture in the lower right corner. Three means it's still a ways away while one means it's close. When the prints disappear your phone will vibrate and a Pokemon will pop up. We caught over 20 Pokemon each and explored parts of Oneonta that I didn't even know existed. We met people who were playing as well and bonded over catching some really cool Pokemon, including a really strong Dragonite. I got a really cool picture of a Gastly in the parking garage as well!
This app does so much for people. Not only did it bring us together with other people in town, but it also encourages exercise by making it impossible to move without actually getting up and moving. It uses GPS to track where you are walking and has a layout using Google Maps. This map shows streets near you and highlights the nearest Pokestops and Gyms. Pokestops are often landmarks like The Daily Star Building, churches, Hartwick College statues and buildings, and murals around town. Some churches are also Pokemon gyms.
Not only do you have to walk to find Pokemon, but sometimes eggs are given to you at these Pokestops and you must walk with the egg in the incubator to be able to hatch the egg. The eggs I have encountered vary between two to 10 kilometers required for it to hatch. I have only hatched one two km egg and got a Geodude so far.
Overall this app encourages teamwork and exercise which has been successful in my opinion. Meeting people in town as well as keeping in touch with friends who are playing back home keeps it fun and brings a more realistic game experience. I've explored more than I have before and plan to continue to do so to catch Pokemon that I haven't caught yet.