FRANCIS RACINE Francis.Racine@eap.on.ca Braving the cold to become a Pokémon master location-based and augmented reality tech- nology, promoting physical activity, and helping local businesses grow by way of increased foot traffic.
If you drive on Water Street at any given time during the day, chances are you might see potential Pokémon masters, hard at work. They are easily recognizable, for they have their cell phone in front of them and thoroughly often walk through the same paths and areas. Although the free-to-play, location-based augmented reality game was quite popular over the summer months, attracting hundreds of players, the bitter cold of the winter season seems to have de- terred even themost of dedicated Pokémon hunters. In the game, players use amobile device’s GPS capability to locate, capture, battle, and train virtual creatures called Pokémon, who appear on the screen as if they were in the same real-world location as the player. Released in 2016, the game quickly be- came a global phenomenon and was one of the most used and profitable mobile application (app) in 2016, having been downloaded more than 500 million times worldwide. It was credited with popularizing
So what makes the lure of Pokémon so attractive? In an effort at understanding just what exactly Pokémon trainers go through during their harrowing quest to catch them all, The Cornwall Journal decided to inves- tigate further, by diving head first into the virtual world that took the world by storm. The chase for an orange dragon Getting ready for a Pokémon quest is an intricate process. Long Johns, gloves, hat, winter coat, warm boots and sometimes even a scarf are all in order. “The place to be for Pokémon Go is Lamoureux Park,” explained player Sheila Migneron. “That’s where all the Poké-Stops are.” A Poké-Stop is typically a landmark and is used by players to replenish their virtual supplies. There, they can not only obtain Pokéballs to catch creatures, but also potions and even eggs. “The game used to be quite popular over the summer months, when it started,” admit- ted Migneron. “But there’s definitely less
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While The Cornwall Journal was interviewing a local Pokémon Go player, the famed Charizard appeared at Lamoureux Park, sparking a stampede towards the band shell. — photo Francis Racine
people playing it nowadays. It really gets cold. I just hope that it picks back up next summer.” A quick glance around the darkened park suggests that other players are actively par- taking in the game. “I like it because it lets me get exercise while having fun,” explained another player who wished to remain anonymous. “It’s a hobby for my boyfriend and me.” Although the woman is bundled in a winter coat along with a hood and winter boots, she holds her phone with her naked hand.The skin upon it is of a dark red color. “Yeah it gets cold, but it’s worth it,” she said laughing. While she’s walking towards the clock tower, she uttered a high pitched yell. “Wow,” she exclaimed. “There’s a Charizard near the band shell!” A new feature in the game allows players to be notified if a certain Pokémon is at a Poké-Stop. In this case, the famed orange dragon looking creature is mere meters away. The woman starts running towards the band shell, phone still in hand. It’s near
the benches that it appears. With a flame on its tail and constantly flying, the virtual creature is imposing. Standing still and with concentrationmarking her face, shemakes several gestures on her phone, trying to catch the creature. Under her breath, she grunts and sometimes utters a word that might shock nearby passersby, if any were present. But fromafar, yells can be heard. “There’s a Charizard!” someone yelled. Crunching snow surrounds the band shell, as several players run towards it.There are even a good number of parked cars close to the Poké-Stop. The rare opportunity has attracted several individuals and with good reasons. Such rare Pokémons don’t often stick around Poké-Stops.They are only there for a short amount of time, making the trip all worthwhile. As a child is heard yelling desperately “Oh no, he ran away,” the player The Cornwall Journal had been following breathes a sigh of relief. “I got it, finally,” she said. With that, she puts her phone and her hands in her coat pocket. “Okay, I’m done for the night,” she said, a smile on her face.
Le Journal, Cornwall
Le mercredi 11 janvier 2017
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