Games Jack Ward

Searching for Pokémon Down Under

Pokemon, JackWard.4jpg

By Jack Ward

Junior Reporter

Youth Journalism International

ARARAT, Victoria, Australia — The world went crazy a few weeks ago when Nintendo paired up with Niantic and released Pokémon Go.

The app, installed on millions of mobile phones, involves exploring the globe and catching animated creatures known as wild Pokémon.Flag-2Bof-2BAustralia

Nintendo released the game in Australia, New Zealand and the United States on  July 6. It was then Germany’s turn on the 13th of July, followed by the UK the next day. By mid-July, Pokémon Go was available in 28 countries and charting on the App Store in Australia.

In the first few days after its release, there were a few problems and glitches with the game, which was expected, but it has improved with a few updates.

Now what is this whole fuss about, you may ask?News-2Blabel2

The aim of the game is to catch wild Pokémon around the globe.

When walking through the real world – the game is supposed to also encourage people to get outdoors and exercise – the device being used vibrates and Pokémon pop up on the screen. That’s when it’s time to catch them.

Players catch the creatures by flicking a Poké ball at the Pokémon.

It’s not as simple as all that. Sometimes they can be quite hard to catch.Pokemon, JackWard.2

I spoke with some local students at Ararat College, Gemma Millington, 15 and Tyson Makovec, 12, who attend Ararat College, and play Pokémon Go.

“The game is good because you get to explore,” Millington said, adding that it is “a way to connect with other players.”

Makovec not only loves the game, but likes how he gets to exercise while having fun.

The main screen on the app is a real world map that shows current location and nearby PokéStops, where players can replenish their Poké balls, gyms, where they can battle other players, and the location of near Pokémon and many other things.

Nintendo released a warning for the game saying, “for safety’s sake, never play Pokémon Go when you’re on your bike, driving a car, riding a hoverboard, or anything else where you should be paying attention, and of course never wander away from your parents or your group to catch a Pokémon.”

Even when loading the app, the game warns you to keep an eye on your surroundings.

People appear undeterred, though, and are still stepping out on the streets to try to find that one Pokémon they need.

So far the app has been a great hit.

We will just have to see how long this latest craze lasts.

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