Pokemon Go was officially released in the UK at 10.15am on July 14th 2016 and Iain, my tech obsessed geeky Pokemon playing son downloaded it within minutes and I followed shortly afterwards, I figure I'm out walking quite a lot anyway so why not. If you are wondering what the heck I'm actually talking about or you've been living under a rock for the last few weeks then I am here to help.
What is Pokemon Go? Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game app available on iOS and Android devices which takes the classic 1996 (the year Iain was born, yes that makes me feel instantly ancient)game by Nintendo and allows you to go out into the real world and catch Pokemon with your phone or tablet, yes you too can look ridiculous walking along with your iPad Pro looking for Pokemon in the park.
How do you catch a Pokemon? On the map you'll see where Pokemon are located nearby, then you go to that point and then you catch it with your Pokeball which you collect from the Pokestops, if you are in Newcastle there are tons in Heaton Park and Jesmond Dene!
What is a Pokestop? Pokestop are notable locations where you go there you get items in the app which you require such as Pokeballs, egg incubators, eggs and lucky eggs.
What is a Pokegym? Pokegyms are located at real life locations (we have one just around the corner at a local church on Heaton Road and another in Heaton Park) and allow you to test your Pokemon against other trainers, if you win you take over the gym and then others will challenge you.
Why should I download Pokemon Go? Well for some it's going to be purely nostalgia, for others it allows them to connect with their children and at the heart of it is exercise, finally a game that gets you out into the world on walks just for the fun of it, I can see Holly Bobbins the beagle is going to get lots of extra walks.
I'm a business, what does this mean for me? Well if you are a business where Pokemon appear and for instance you sell food or drinks then I can see this proving to be so profitable, why not get some badges printed, grab this thing by it's neck and make sure you are doing something unique so people come back even when there aren't Pokemon to be caught! As the whole algorithm is based on Google maps it's even possible that Pokemon could suddenly appear near my business, not entirely sure how I'll maximise on that one!
Will it kill the battery on my smartphone? The answer is yes, I've found this cheap portable power bank on Amazon which is only £11.99, available on prime and will charge your phone 6 times, essential for all Pokemon hunters I suspect!
So in summary, I had a 10k walk with Iain just for fun and that's not usual, we spotted at least 30 other Pokemon hunters and that's just within the first few hours of release, this summer is going to be very interesting as the whole of the world goes Pokemon Go crazy!