Sunday, 31 July 2016

Chasing Pocket Monsters

True to my character, I have been vociferous about my dislike for the game without really knowing anything about it. I felt chasing little monsters around the city was perhaps the stupidest thing one could do, ever. But now I am a convert. I changed my mind when I accompanied two avid Pokemon hunters in their pursuit. Why the change of heart? I am no gamer but I think its one of the most well designed games I have ever come across. It breaks most norms that a video game typically symbolises. (If you want to know the secret of this game's success, read this article  from the WARC blog.)

The 3 most striking features which made me jump in are:

1. It is an exercise app in disguise : The game rewards players according to how far they walk as one needs to walk a certain distance to catch more valuable Pokemon characters or hatch an egg. I will do anything to shed the extra kilos off as long as I don't have to stop eating or drinking. 

2. It is based on the principles of socialising: The lure module feature of the game brings people together in a physical location. I would like to meet more people in my area, especially if they are the types who chase pocket monsters in their spare time.  Well, why not? It takes all kinds to make the world.

3. It connects you to your city: You have to explore the city to not only catch different varieties of monsters but also land up in 'gyms' which are fictional arena like places that are mapped onto real life landmarks sprinkled around the city. Anyone who knows me at all, knows of my love for Mumbai and my penchant for exploring the city - with or without a reason.  

Come on, if you are a fence sitter, jump in! It is nothing like anything you have done in a very very long time. But oops, if you are in India, there is a minor problem. The game has not been launched in our part of the world as yet. Not sure what is Niantic, the makers of the game, waiting for but just in case you don't want to wait, here's how you can download it on your iPhone and get going right away!

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