Pokemon GO: Oh, the possibilities

Whether or not it succeeds, Pokémon GO is carving out a new path for the future of gaming.

I'm going to make a confession that probably isn't going to come as much of a surprise: I rarely go outside, or out of my house, period. I mean, who does these days? Everything is indoors, and it's hardly a surprise that the generation that first grew up alongside the advent of the digital age is going to be where the technology is. 

Obviously, this isn't the healthiest of habits, but hey, that's life. However, what if the technology we were using made us go outside? 

Augmented reality games are a fascinating idea. Primarily for mobile platforms, the premise is to utilize the camera, the GPS, anything in your phone that can interface with 'the real world,' and to add something to it, usually in the form of a game.

In Pokémon GO's case, it wants to bring Pokémon to the real world.

Announced last month, the ambitious project tells us to do something we've been doing since Pokémon Red and Blue: "Imagine Pokemon in the real world," and just as it always has, the idea has opened us up to countless possibilities.

An eight-year-old's-dream come true, and certainly more than a few twenty-something-year-olds', Pokémon GO is the only mobile game that seems to be bringing something new and exciting to the plate. Of course, it's doubtful that we'll be seeing something as immersive as what we've been shown in the trailer, but that doesn't change the basic premise: going out and capturing Pokemon in the real world, trading and battling with people you meet while wandering around, essentially creating an entirely player-driven environment. 

Of course, the game is going to have in-app transactions (will we see real life Rich Boys moving around?), but the extent of these transactions has yet to be seen. 

These might be crazy pipe dreams, but could you imagine: 

Real life gym battles. Self-organized Pokémon leagues. Teams. Rare Pokémon hunters and traders. While we can't expect this to be the most technologically elaborate game ever, Pokémon GO is the sort of game that gets people from around the world to pay attention and consider the possibilities augmented reality gaming has to offer.

Whether or not Pokémon GO flops, the seeds have been sown, and I think that there is a bright future ahead for augmented reality gaming; it brings an idea that is both horrifying and exciting to think about: transforming everyday life, and the outside world, into a game.

Little information has been released regarding Pokémon GO, but you can read the official announcement here.

Published Oct. 21st 2015

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