When I was a young child, Pokémon was my favorite game, hands down. I remember spending countless hours trying to defeat gyms and catch ’em all, even in the late hours after my mother told me to sleep (sorry mom, but that little light that attached to my clear purple Gameboy Color was a god send once you shut those lights off). I was even the type of kid that would get car sick from playing video games on the way to the grocery store, or on the way to school. Whenever I had the opportunity, I would pick up the Gameboy Color and play until it would make me sick.

As the years progressed, I started to lose focus in Pokémon and eventually stopped playing all together. I feel this is the normal evolution for all kids raised in the 90’s. However, with the recent launch of Pokémon GO by Nintendo and Niantic, I had to revisit my childhood even though I thought the game would be stupid.

What is Pokémon GO?

To make a long story short, Pokémon GO is a Virtual Reality application for your smartphone that allows you to collect Pokémon and battle other players at Gyms. That’s literally the premise of the game, but like any other game, there is a lot more to the game. Strategies, items, skills, etc…

In order to catch wild Pokémon, you need to walk around town. Every so often, a new Pokémon will appear on your screen which you can then try to capture it using one of your Pokéballs. Certain Pokémon are harder to catch than others, while some are just tricky by nature (I’m looking at you, Zubat!). As you continue to catch new Pokémon, you will gain XP points which will allow you (your trainer) to rank up. The higher rank you are, the higher Pokémon you’ll be able to catch in the wild (in theory).

As you play Pokémon GO, you will eventually run out of Pokéballs. In order to gain new Pokéballs, you need to visit Pokéstops, which will also give you other items. If you receive an egg, you can put an egg into an incubator and walk the distance that specific egg tells you to walk and it will hatch into a Pokémon. So yes, you NEED to get out and move around in order to take full advantage of this game.

Of course, you can battle gyms and much more, but I think you get the idea of what the app is. But why is Pokémon GO so important?

Let me go over a few obvious reasons why this is so important!

Advantages of Pokémon GO

Let me talk about a few advantages I feel Pokémon GO is offering to its humongous community.

Nostalgic: For many players, myself included, Pokémon GO is a very nostalgic game. It brings back amazing memories of their youth years when Pokémon was at its all-time high on handheld consoles. Like I said in my opening statement, I spent many hours playing my Pokémon games, even after my mother told me to go to bed. It was my first addiction in the gaming world, so bringing back these amazing memories is probably one of the main reasons I’m playing it.

Exercise: Let’s face the facts, a lot of the world’s population is obese (myself included), so getting exercise is key to living a healthy life. With the way technology is headed, a lot of us aren’t even leaving the world to experience new things, let alone get the recommended amount of daily exercise. Having an application that gets us out and about is amazing, especially if it’s helping us live a healthier lifestyle.

Exploration: Like I just said, Pokémon GO is getting people out of the house and getting us to visit new places. If it weren’t for Pokémon GO, I would have honestly not found such a peaceful bay in a local town. Even if it’s small places like this, it’s still a new place and I’m grateful for that experience. Imagine you’re on a vacation and you were looking for something new to do. You open up Pokémon GO to see if there are any nearby Pokéstops and the closest one to you in an awesome park where you can take your kids to play. I mean, that’s awesome. Think about it!

Good Laughs: When you play a game and laugh, you automatically know it’s going to be a good game. Since Pokémon GO has the ability to use your camera when catching wild Pokémon, you can certainly get some funny pictures. There have been memes throughout the entire internet, so why not continue them and make some of your own. Here are a few I found using Google Search!

You name it, it's been seen!

You name it, it’s been seen!

Let’s get into the real stuff, the main reason why I feel Pokémon GO is important, especially with the future.

Virtual Reality gaming, in my opinion, has been overlooked as a gimmick in the last year or so. To be honest, I do feel the general idea of virtual reality gaming is a joke – products like the HTC Vive don’t seem to really stand a chance in the general marketplace. However, virtual reality with smartphone applications is going to be the future. Mark my words. Smartphones have taken over our lives, in ways that we never would have seemed possible just 5 years ago. They literally control our beings and if you think AR technology in smartphones won’t be the future of how we interact with individuals and use our phones, you are insane.

The fact that Pokémon GO has been able to get millions of people to exercise while playing a game is insane. Not to mention when you walk down any street and see people with their phones out, there is a 90% chance they are playing Pokémon. The statistics speak for itself, but to actually see it in action – it’s literally shocking and jaw dropping. This game has literally the breaking of the ice into the virtual reality application world. What will developers come up with next? Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, Apple…I’m speaking to you right now. If Nintendo, a company we all thought was dead at this point, can do it, so can you.

The next few years is going to be amazing. Don’t blink, or you might miss it!

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below. Do you feel virtual reality applications will be the future? Would also mean a lot to me if you shared this with your friends and family!