Why Pokémon Go Became Popular

Despite being four months after its release, players’ obsession with Pokémon Go has yet to fade away. Popularity of the game struck  like lightening. Still, one question remains: why did Pokémon Go become so popular? Since its universal takeover, Pokémon Go‘s popularity is steadily defending its spot at the top. Around the world, game fanatics of all ages find themselves immersed in an alternate universe. You can imagine how shocking this might be to most young adults and older players. Why? Well it wasn’t so long ago that Pokémon (the original card game) got more upturned noses and teasing than five star reviews. But now, players are no longer few and far in-between. Instead, they come in hoards.

 

At the party after my First Holy Communion, I decided to use my gifted money on something special. Pokémon cards. Not two minutes after I left the pharmacy to go back to my party, the unopened pack of cards with slapped out of my hands and onto the ground. “Only weirdos play that,” my friend informed me, and that was that. Pokémon became a taboo game, in my mind. But, like most things in fashion and entertainment, it made an unexpected turn around. Just like skinny jeans, Converse and comic books – society would come to realize that their initial judgment may have been unfair. Go figure.
So what happened to make Pokémon Go go from undesirable to the most downloaded game in the App Store?
For one, Pokémon Go is an entirely different approach to the game than the cards. Contrary to its predecessor, the Pokémon Go app offers interaction that is more reliant on technological advancements than an individual’s imagination. As a result, it’s got simple and instant satisfaction. In other words, Pokémon Go doesn’t require a whole lot of skill or effort. It’s as easy as walking around the neighborhood and flicking your finger over you’re phone’s screen. Pokemon captured. Mission accomplished. Consider yourself a success.
Timing also has a lot to do with the success of Pokémon Go. Since the game was released in July of 2016, in the midst of Summer vacation, it gave school kids a large amount of time to play the newly released app. Similarly, college students and adults of all ages have significantly more time to kill. So, Pokémon Go seems worth dedicating that free time to!
Pokémon Go is something of a gratifying escape from reality. Take, for example, some of the most popular games downloaded for handheld entertainment: Temple Run, Candy Crush, and Tetris. When there is time to kill, easy access games are the go-to. They save us from the silence and boredom of a train ride or early arrivals. (They also offer an alternative to staring at the ceiling after your plans have been canceled.) The convenience factor is just the hook. Once you bite, it’s hard to get off the line.
Let’s not forget that childhood sense of adventure. Maybe, subconsciously, there is a yearning inside of us to relive those childhood moments, even if they were discouraged by our peers. Maybe we all wanted to be more like Ash Misty and Brock. Pokémon Go players can finally fulfill those desires without the stigma of society, because it’s become a social norm.
Pokémon  Go brings people together. I’ll give the app that much. I’ve never seen crowds quite like that brought forth by a rare Pokémon find. Someone you normally pass by on the street, without a second thought, could end up right next to you.  And now they are your newest partner in crime, or should I say, partner in Pokémon hunting. It’s in our nature to seek out people who have similar interests. There is a level of comfort and connection we feel with those people once your spot that immediate similarity.
Talk about making friends in unexpected places. A backyard, and empty parking lot, or on the side of the road. Odd enough, right?
Since people already glued to their phones, Pokémon Go is just another stop somewhere between Instagram and checking emails. Whether it was the intention of the creators to bring life back to an underrated game or prove the frivolity of the human race, they succeeded both, and then some.
So Glamorous people? Are you Pokemon Go Fanatics? Comment below or tweet @GlamorousPaper your favorite Pokemon or your favorite spot to find ’em!

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