'Pokémon Go': Promoting An Active And Social Lifestyle

'Pokémon Go': Promoting An Active And Social Lifestyle

In its own goofy and weird way.

If you don’t know what "Pokémon Go" is, or have never heard of it, I really don’t know what to say. This app has been extremely popular in the past weeks since its release, and its popularity is only growing. More and more people are downloading it, and more and more "Pokémon Go" players are roaming our parks and streets every day.

Essentially, "Pokémon Go" is a modern and super technological version of the classic handheld game. It is mostly played on one’s phone or tablet and uses GPS technology. Depending on your location and proximity, you can catch Pokémon, hatch eggs, train and defeat Gyms. There are also realistic aspects of it — PokeStops, places that you spin and obtain little rewards, are real places in the world, which make the game a little more interesting.

If you live in a country or area where "Pokémon Go" is available for you, chances are you’ve passed by someone who is playing the game. A huge indicator are masses of conglomerated people bundled together at a certain area, or someone walking (or standing) while swiping at their phone. I see them everywhere. Trainers are everywhere. You can find a lot of them in parks and local PokeStops. Many are children, but what I find more baffling is that a mass majority of people playing are adults passed 16 years old. It’s like our childhood has finally come back and turned us into Pokémon-hungry younglings once more.

Although "Pokémon Go" has its own risks and dangers, if used properly and safely, it is its own social network and way of being active. Because it requires a lot of walking or movement to find Pokémon or hatch eggs (hatching eggs can require up to 10 km of steps if I remember correctly), people find themselves walking long distances. Many of my friends who play the game even bike around streets until they are tired and sore the next morning. It’s a strange way of staying in shape, but works wonders for society, who, these days, usually stay indoors and play "Pokémon" in one spot.

Not only does it promote activity and exercise, the game strangely opens up new friendships. If you are a player of this game, you know you can drop lure modules on PokeStops that lure wild Pokémon. This pink, confetti party thing is a huge flag for Pokémon trainers anywhere. If it’s a popular area and there are many people around, you surely will see a lot of people in that PokeStop. I was scrolling through the Twitter news/moments tab and looking through the abundance of pictures/videos that showcased the friendships made through the game.

The result of a single lure being put down.

It’s a great conversation starter, for sure. It makes it easier to talk to someone when you have an immediate point of commonality, and this game has endless numbers of conversation starters. I once went to the park with my two friends to catch some Pokémon, and as we walked around, I remember two teenage boys running past us, yelling at us saying, “Pikachu! Pikachu is over there!!!”. Soon enough, I had two Pikachu’s in my pocket and a lot of wasted Pokeballs (I really suck at throwing those things).

In its own goofy and weird way, Pokémon Go has entered the hearts of Pokémon fans and non-fans alike, and definitely is a game to look out for.

"Pika-pika!" — Pikachu

Cover Image Credit: http://img.20m

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Fortnite On Your Phone? It's Here

"Fortnite" on mobile. Need I say more?

"Fortnite," the popular PC/Console game that everyone is talking about, has just done the unthinkable. They released to mobile. You heard me right. MOBILE. It's been a long time since any PC/Console game went to the mobile platform or was even popular enough to do so. In fact, there were so many people who wanted to sign up for the "Fortnite" mobile beta that Epic Games' site, the creators of "Fortnite," actually crashed just a little bit after the sign up was posted because so many people tried to access the website, overloading their servers. And it takes a lot of people to do that. And from the gameplay previews that have been released by Epic Games, the mobile version looks pretty decent.

And to me, this model doesn't look bad at all. The controls look clean and sleek, and questions about buttons for mechanics like building are answered by the photo. And I've gotta say, I'm impressed by the initiative Epic Games is taking. They really are revolutionizing the gaming industry. And I signed up for the mobile beta, so hopefully, I'll get an opportunity to try the game out for myself.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Implications Of The Samsung Galaxy S9's Camera

The new camera on Samsung's latest phone could change the landscape of photography.

The Samsung Galaxy S9’s recent announcement and subsequent release on March 16th marks next iteration of one of the top cell phones on the market today. The Galaxy line is as much of a mainstay as the iPhone, with new versions released reliably every year. With these new releases, consumers expect to see a considerable step forward with each new phone.

One category that has been consistently improved upon is the camera. One of the biggest selling points for smartphone companies is the new and improved camera that comes as a part of the package. Lately, the improvements to these cameras have been less about the hardware and specs, and more about the software behind them that allows them to capture such great images. The improvements are still there, but they aren’t as obvious as they have been in years past.

This year, Samsung aims to end this trend with its new camera technology that pushes the boundary of mobile photography further than they have been pushed before.

Samsung introduces a new concept to the market with its variable aperture on the new S9 and S9+. The camera can take photos at f/1.5 as well as f/2.4 allowing different amounts of light to hit the sensor in a way that was previously impossible for smartphone cameras to achieve. Among other things, the most prevalent outcome from this is a camera that excels in low-light performance. But beyond that, it pushes cameras further into the territory of dedicated cameras, giving the user an experience that comes closer than ever before to matching a DSLR or point and shoot. Of course these dedicated cameras allow for more control of the aperture, but it is a step in the right direction.

Before I go on, it’s worth mentioning that these cameras are nowhere near the level of quality that can be achieved by dedicated cameras. I mean, those are made for one purpose: to be a camera. But steps like this that have been made by Samsung and other smartphone companies give users the best possible option for something to use that is already in their pocket anyway. If the big smartphone brands continue to push the boundaries of what is possible like this, soon we could see the landscape of photography change drastically with the consumers being the ones who benefit.

While smartphones continue to improve the quality of their built-in cameras, big camera brands will be starting to look over their shoulder to see how much they need to do to continue to stay as a high-end option for those looking to pursue photography or videography. Competition between companies always benefits the consumer, similarly, as the line between dedicated cameras and smartphone cameras starts to blur, the competition between dedicated camera companies and smartphone manufacturers will benefit consumers in the same way.

While smartphone cameras continue to improve, dedicated camera companies will have to improve as well to stay ahead. This means that every photographer, from amature to professional, will see changes in the market that will benefit their craft.

In addition to the variable aperture, Galaxy S9 owners will be treated to an updated camera interface, improved software and image processing, and a slow motion camera that allows for motion 32 times slower than normal playback (as compared to the 8 times slower motion that we have seen in smartphones recently). Many accuse Samsung of simply putting in features with big numbers to show off their specs, but regardless of where you fall, numbers like these are impressive and they will continue to push the envelope for what’s possible in smartphone photography.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels.com

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