Pokémon, also known as Pocket Monsters, is a brand that consists of merchandise, television shows, games, and movies. What started off as a little child’s hobby of catching insects in the back yard has grown into a huge media franchise.
Pokémon skyrocketed after its first video game debut. Game Freak released a series of video games for the Nintendo Game Boy system in Japan on February 27, 1996. Most of the games revolve around players catching, training, and trading over 150 different kinds of creatures in order to become a Pokémon Master.
Fast forward 20+ years and Pokémon is still as popular as ever. In 2016 the franchise proved that they were willing to adapt to modern times when they released the Pokémon Go app.
The mobile game quickly became the next biggest craze. You can find groups of people of all ages roaming local parks trying to “catch” a rare creature. This Pokémon phenomenon has not only brought people together but it has also changed how people play games on their smartphones.
Banned in Iran
When the game first came out, people were concerned about children’s safety. Many folks were worried because the game requires players to visit different places in order to catch creatures and collect eggs.
Iran took their concerns to a whole new level by completely banning the game a few months after its release. One of Iran’s senior judicial officials reported that the game posed a security dilemma.
Pokémon Go Bill
Many exciting things were going on in the world around the time Pokémon Go was released, one of the most popular being the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Since Pokémon Go was the latest craze, a lot of Olympic gymnasts were playing it. Unfortunately, one athlete was playing it a little too much and racked up a 500,000-yen phone bill.
Thankfully after he explained the situation to his phone provider, they switched him to an overseas plan.
Shortly after Pokémon Go was released, a local police station in Missouri tweeted a warning to the public about the mobile game.
“Be mindful of what you play online. A string of armed robberies [were] perpetrated by suspects who targeted their victims using Pokémon Go,” said PPD 35th District.
Apparently, armed gunmen were luring players to a certain area to rob them. Sadly, this wasn’t the only city where similar things were occurring.
Police Station PokéStop
Another police station took to social media to warn their community about the recent Pokémon Go craze.
On July 5, 2016, the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services encouraged players to look up from their phones and to look both ways before crossing the street.
They also acknowledged that their station was indeed a PokéStop but urged players to refrain from going inside just to catch creatures or collect eggs.
New York State Senate
The New York State Senate brought forth a valid point when it came to locations for PokéStops and Pokémon Gyms. They argued that a bill needed to be passed to prevent these locations from being placed within 100 feet of a sex offender’s place of residence.
Former governor Andrew Cuomo expressed that this is a concern not only in his community but anywhere this mobile game is being played.
One player from Toledo, Ohio, proved that she wasn’t above breaking and entering in order to catch a Pokémon. A few days after she announced to Facebook that she would commit this offense, she broke into the Toledo Zoo.
The zoo banned her from returning, but thankfully they didn’t ban all Pokémon players. In fact, they welcome anyone and everyone who has paid admission to visit during normal business hours.
Falling Off a Cliff
Sometimes rare Pokémon creatures, PokéSpots, and Pokémon gyms can be found in public areas like parks, malls, and local businesses. Other times, they are more or less off the beaten track.
Unfortunately, two men who went looking for Pokémon in northern San Diego, California, fell off a cliff. One of the men was found 50 feet below the cliff while the other had fallen 80 to 90 feet. Thankfully, neither of the men died from their injuries.
It may seem by now that the Pokémon Go application has done more harm than good. However, that isn’t the case.
In fact, the Pokémon Go game was acknowledged for possibly saving the lives of a whole family. Two college students noticed a man bothering a woman and her child while they were out catching Pokémon.
As soon as they saw the man get physical, they apprehended the suspect until the police came to take over.
Don’t Pokémon and Drive
It may be obvious to say it’s never a good idea to play a video game while driving. A few months after the Pokémon Go game was released, there was an increased number of reports regarding people using their phones while driving.
It’s easier to tell when drivers are trying to catch Pokémon because they are normally driving around 10 mph or less. Needless to say, this kind of behavior isn’t only dumb but it’s dangerous for everyone involved.
There aren’t many mobile games that can cause your muscles to feel sore the day after playing it.
One of the best things about Pokémon Go is that it requires you to go outside to experience nature, breathe in the fresh air, and exercise. One Twitter user even tweeted, “I ran for a good minute or two yesterday for Pokémon Go and my lower legs are sore.”
There actually have been quite a few reports of sore legs due to the active nature of the game.
Finding Something Other than Pokémon
The whole point of the game is to wander about town and try to find Pokémon creatures and PokéSpots. However, finding anything other than that isn’t supposed to be part of the experience.
It didn’t turn out this way for 19-year-old Shayla Wiggins. She came across a dead body in the water while searching for Pokémon.
Law enforcement later announced that the death was ruled an accident and that it was not related to Pokémon Go in any way.
Pokémon is considered to be a game for all ages. However, the majority of people playing Pokémon Go typically range from around 12 years old to people in their early 20s.
One gentleman by the name of Gjan Kulasingham took to Twitter to announce his shock when he discovered a PokéSpot at a local strip club. Within the week, he received over 1,000 likes and retweets and nearly 600 comments from fellow Pokémon Go players.
Catching Pokémon at Baby's Delivery
One of the best parts about the Pokémon Go mobile game is that you can find Pokémon creatures almost anywhere you go.
One gentleman couldn’t miss the opportunity of catching a new creature when he saw it inside a hospital. Normally, that wouldn’t be so frowned upon but in this case, he noticed the Pokémon while his wife was giving birth.
Some people were upset when hearing his story while others understood the importance of capturing Pokémon.
Fighting Wars and Catching Pokémon
The Pokémon Go mobile application is accessible almost anywhere in the world. This means that literally anyone with a smartphone can play it no matter where they are.
A few days after the game was released, Louis Park, an American soldier, posted to social media that he caught his first Pokémon while protecting the Mosul front line by Teleskuf, Iraq. He even posted a picture of the Squirtle standing next to his machine gun.
Living in a Pokémon Gym
There is a lot of technology that went into creating Pokémon Go. One of the head developers at Niantic Labs teamed up with Google Maps to turn the application into a game of geolocation.
Many of the locations for PokéSpots and Pokémon Gyms were chosen based on their geo-tagged photos from Google. The most popular destinations include parks, churches, and tourist landmarks.
Boon Sheridan took to Twitter to announce that he was currently living in a Pokémon Gym. “Living in an old church means many things. Today it means my house is a Pokémon Go gym. This should be fascinating.”
There were many advantages to playing Pokémon Go when it was released in 2016. You not only felt like you were a part of something much bigger than yourself, but you received a few discounts a well.
One locally-owned juice bar used Pokémon Go as a way to bring in more business. They announced that every trainer who placed a Lure Module on any nearby Pokécenter locations would receive a $1.00 Bud Light or $2.99 smoothie.
Fighting for Equality
Pokémon Go is a mobile game that took the Internet by storm. Players posted on social media platforms to announce where certain creatures could be found and which players were seizing different PokéStops.
On July 9, 2016, Anthony Oliveria tweeted, “An unstoppable Clefairy named Love Is Love has apparently seized control of the Westboro Baptist Church #Pokémon Go gym.”
There have been other accounts of players by the name of “Stop Hate!” that also took over that particular facility.
Guided Pokémon GO Experience
California has been known for having residents that enjoy the finer things in life. In Los Angeles, a Pokémon Go experience offered just that.
For just $30, the service came with a personal driver, phone chargers, backup batteries, and a mapped-out route that hit all of the PokéSpots, Pokémon Gyms, high-frequency spawn points, and different biomes.
The driver also offered to drive slowly through residential areas so the eggs have the opportunity to hatch.
The saying is true: people find love when they least expect it. Reddit user BobDoleOffical explained how a night of Pokémon Go turned into one of the best days of his life.
It all began when he and a friend decided to look for Pokémon near their local river. After an hour of roaming around, they ran into two girls who were also playing the game.
Before he knew it, BobDoleOffical was having a great conversation and discussing similar interests with one of the girls. Now a romantic couple, they thank Niantic for bringing them together.
Kayaking to a Pokémon Gym
It really is surprising what some people are willing to do just to advance in the Pokémon Go game. One couple went as far as to paddle for half an hour to get to a Pokémon Gym that was in the middle of a lake.
The person who sold them the kayak was also playing Pokémon Go at the time … but was on the opposing team. The couple ended up successfully taking over the Pokémon Gym (and getting a good workout).
For Paying Customers Only
Some businesses take advantage of the extra customers and attention they receive for being a temporary Pokémon Gym or PokéSpot. Other businesses aren’t so happy when a rare Pokémon creature happens to pop up at their location.
They see the game as bringing unwanted attention. One business even went as far as to hang up a sign that read “Pokémon are for paying customers only.”
Appearances Can Be Deceiving
It’s never a good idea to judge a book by its cover; things aren’t always as they appear. Three Pokémon Go players demonstrated this early one morning.
After being unable to fall asleep, an older gentleman decided to walk around his local park to catch a few Pokémon. It was around three a.m. when he got there and found two young guys sitting on a park bench.
They were also playing the game. They struck up a conversation and shared Pokémon Go tips.
A few minutes later, two cops appeared. The gamers had to explain why they were playing a mobile game so early in the morning.
Luckily for this Pokémon Go player, what she found while out playing wasn’t a dead body but an adorable kitten. Carey Burns took to social media to announce that she found an injured cat while trying to catch Pokémon creatures.
As soon as she found this new furry friend, she scooped it up and took it to a nearby vet. Once the cat’s fractured pelvis was healed, Carey Burns ended up keeping the female kitten and naming her Mewtwo.
Changing a Boy’s Life
Pokémon Go was designed to be a very interactive game. Players are encouraged to go outside, roam around public areas, and join forces with other players to find rare creatures.
One mother took to the Internet to share her autistic son’s journey from barely being able to speak to people to approaching kids and asking them if they wanted to play with him. She thanks the Pokémon Go mobile game for helping her son come out of his shell.
One of the biggest stereotypical rivalries is jocks vs. nerds. However, a group of nerdy friends and their jock classmates proved that stereotype wrong.
When the two cliques ran into each other while hunting for Pokémon, instead of an awkward standoff, they actually ended up working together. The two groups gave each other Pokémon Go tips and locations on where to find Pokémon Gyms and other nearby creatures.