‘GO’ catch them all, together!

Photo by BagoGames on Flickr

Cindy Cuadra/Staff Writer

 

The release of Pokémon GO has taken society by storm.

Whether it’s on FIU’s campus, at Tropical Park, or Downtown Miami, thousands of people have been glued to their phones since the mesmerizing app was released.

Although the video game’s intention is to catch all the Pokémon around using your phone’s GPS and camera, it has served as a social unification for millions around the world.

The Nintendo phenomenon has brought more people together than a new iPhone release. On campus, it is no different. Thousands of Pokémon GO players swarmed FIU’s campus on July 10 to catch Pokémon. According to an article by the DailyMail, FIU is a hotspot for Poké stops, or stations to recharge on Pokéballs. The DailyMail article even included a video of FIU’s campus, where Poké players are seen chanting ‘Squirtle!’ as the Pokémon appeared for one player.

It’s fascinating to see people who do not normally play video games, especially Pokémon games, become quite invested in catching these virtual creatures. In a time where so many tragedies and problems in the world are trying to tear humanity apart, a game has united the world in an extraordinarily simple way. It has brought people of all ages together through a common ground.

Miami has even created Pokémon meet-ups for large groups to come together and catch Pokémon in good company. The Miami New Times published an article listing the dates, times and places of these massive meet-ups around Miami, including Wynwood, Brickell, and South Beach.

“It’s getting people out of their chairs to get outside and get moving throughout the day without even trying. It is amazing how innovative the app is. The creators incorporated something our generation grew up playing, with modern technology. I’ve talked to strangers I would have never regularly talked to and made more new friends in a week than I ever have.” Tyler Rosario, an FIU junior, said to FIU Student Media.

The benefits Pokémon has are not only social, but it has also broken barriers historically and financially.

The Pokémon franchise, which has been around since the 90’s, has taken over as the number phone app in the United States. TechCrunch published an article that said it has surpassed Twitter’s daily active users as well as Tinder’s installs. The app has broken Nintendo’s market value by boosting it up $17 billion in only one week. It’s even surpassed porn as the most searched item, according to Google.

With so many people using phone data, cell-phone company T-Mobile, has stepped up their game by creating a Pokémon inspired ‘Thank-you’ package for their customers on their weekly T-Mobile Tuesdays.  

According to T-Mobile, they will thank their Pokémon players with free unlimited data on Pokémon GO so that it won’t touch players’ high-speed data for an entire year, free Lyft rides for up to $15 dollars to get to a new Poké stop or Gym and free Wendy’s Frosties to refuel on Pokémon hunting trips on July 19.

Of course, every good thing has a downside. Although Pokémon players are invested and the game has brought people together, precautionary measures should be taken seriously.

“There are negative aspects. Since it is a free app, there is always the possibility of bad people using it to their disadvantage, like to bother children. Little kids especially need to be looked after because the app has Pokemon everywhere, even on streets and lakes, so I think it’s important we watch out for kids and monitor where they are going because we don’t want them accidently walking into a busy street. Also, Pokémon GO is not an excuse to disregard traffic laws because I’ve seen where cars will stop abruptly in the middle of traffic because they are on their phones playing the game.” Rosario said.

Many Pokémon are hidden in the backyards of private properties, in lakes and in the middle of streets. Players should be made aware of the dangers of trespassing and violating traffic laws to prevent accidents from happening. Public safety should still be a number one priority.

The Pokémon world will continue to surprise everyone with it’s upcoming updates. As Nintendo keeps creating, we will keep hunting to ‘GO’ catch’em all.

 

DISCLAIMER:

The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of FIU Student Media Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

 

Image by BagoGames, retrieved from Flickr

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