Pokémon GO!

It was going to happen eventually. As both kids and adults alike have been swept away by Niantic’s magnum opus, Pokémon GO, the Alliance has decided to jump on the bandwagon and hold both a training and playing session in the coming weeks.

Despite the recent explosion in popularity, the first Pokémon video game was released in Japan by Nintendo over twenty years ago. The company has since built on the franchise’s immense popularity through trading cards, TV episodes, books, stuffed animals, and now Pokémon GO. The augmented reality game is the newest installment of the well-established Pokemon series, and arguably the most popular. While Apple has not confirmed the exact numbers, the game has shattered multiple App Store records. GO’s meteoric rise has caught the attention of seemingly every news outlet and website, and has probably worked its way into one of your own conversations.

Out of the myriad of Pokémon games, GO is the only one to be launched via the App Store and Google Play, making the game accessible to anyone with a smartphone or tablet. The game is also the only one to implant Pokemon into schools, police stations, and even your bedroom. Virtual Pokémon are scattered throughout the real world using your device’s GPS location, as are PokeStops (where players can stock up on supplies) and gyms (where players can battle local opponents). The ability to catch all 151 original Pokémon simply lies in the swipe of your finger, and in the willingness to go outside and explore your neighborhood or city. Unlike most video games, Pokémon GO requires players to walk in order to bump into the catchable creatures, as well as “hatch” eggs that can be found at PokeStops.

This unique feature has a few implications, including meeting other players or neighbors, as well as safety concerns. We will be holding a training session at our office on Wednesday, August 3rd at 2pm, where we’ll not only run over a few of the game’s basics, we’ll also discuss helpful tips and tricks to beat Pokemon Go while staying safe. We encourage any of Alliance’s youth interested in or already playing the game to come out and learn a few details they might not otherwise know, and to spend time with other aspiring Pokemon masters. At our playing session on Wednesday August 10th (time TBD), we’ll apply the knowledge we learned the previous week and catch some Pokemon together.