Maybe it’s a bit of a secret, but some of us are actually nerds just hiding in cool clothes. We might really prefer a Pokéball in our hands (or maybe the playcards or Nintendo DS) than a Club Mate or rollie cigarette. Perhaps it’s been a while since the classic Pokémon universe has been a serious fascination for most of us (unless you count the Rick & Morty smartphone game Pocket Mortys – an awesome homage to Pocket Monsters with the great characters and humor of the Adult Swim show!), but a new phenomenon now arrives in Berlin: Pokémon GO!
Pokémon Go has gone viral, a sensation sweeping the States like an Imgur meme. For those not aware of the game/anime/trading cards, it is surely a serious WTF moment – why is this game such a big deal?? Even politicians are opportunistically exploiting the trend for their purposes. Bit weird, right? It’s success is so off-the-charts that the company, Niantic, has delayed the release of the game in Europe because its servers can’t handle the traffic. More traffic than all the big sites – it’s broken the internet!
If your an expat that’s managed to hold on to your American/Aussie iTunes account: Lucky you 😀 You’ve been the first of what will surely be a wave of unabashed young people reclaiming their youth in the most unexpected of ways: exploring the city, their iPhones typically in the grip of their hands, bumping into each other in a whole new context…
Pokémon Go has brought out introverts and indoor kids in droves – its gameplay involves actually leaving the house to capture Pokémon IRL. Augmented reality technology shows a character on your smartphone screen as you point the camera at real spaces. It’s created some very bizarre real-life situations: safety concerns, criminal opportunities, and issues of etiquette and appropriateness. 2016 – where an app based on new tech and old nostalgia fuels total hysteria! What a time to be alive.
Now we’ll begin to see Charmander, Squirtle and Psyduck in front of Brandenburger Tor, standing at the canal, even queuing at Berghain along with actual Berliners. With all the stories about all the “inappropriate” places it’s used, and all the danger it might cause, we wonder: what will be the first big story like this in Berlin? At the Holocaust Memorial perhaps? Or the Berlin Wall Memorial? I for one am quite excited to see the 90s characters in front of all our unique Berlin locations – the history, combined with the contemporary aspect of this game, is a juxtaposition fitting for Berlin. And it’s now released for Android and IOS in Germany (before the UK and rest of EU)!
And for all of those club kids who want to play there is even a club map that tells you which clubs have PokéStops. More about it on Electronic Beats.
illustration: Electronic Beats
So go and catch ’em all. Just be aware of your data usage and battery 😉