At the end of July, I happened to be in Japan, and happened to download 1 application everybody was talking about back then: Pokemon Go. When I came back to Mongolia, I was surprised to know that it actually worked in Mongolia. Since it was such a social phenomenon, I decided to give it a try for 2 months.
In short, I was very excited at first , but then I decided to stop playing this. And below are 3 pros and 3 cons of Pokemon Go based on my experience.
What is Pokemon GO
Before getting into the pros and cons, let me briefly summarize what Pokemon GO is.
it is a smart phone application game (free), and your surrounding area turns into the Pokemon world (with GPS), and 5 main things you do with this are (1)Collect items at “Pokestop (usually some kind of historical monuments or locally famous places so the bigger the city is, the more pokestop there are) (2) Hatch Pokemon’s egg by walking certain distance (3) Fight with other pokemon or train yours at “gym” (4) Catch wild pokemon which appears on the street and (5) Evolve your Pokemon.
(Japanese city street (left) and Mongolian countryside street (right). Blue one is pokestop)
1. Walk more
To play with this, you have to walk a lot (with slower velocity of 10km/hour, so train or cars don’t count). I even used for slow jog. Also, many articles stated that it was useful for diet or it even worked to get “Hikikomori” (those who never go out) out of their home!
2. Raise something
You can see that your cute Pokemons are growing by walking, feeding items, fighting and evolving, which gives you some level of satisfaction.
3. Can be educational
This social phenomenon gave some hints on some educational purpose. For example, educators used pokestop (e.g. a statue of historical hero) as a source for students to learn history. The idea of this application also encouraged educators to come up with similar approach without even using the application (e.g. letting children draw Mutants, hide in school and look for them).
1. Consume battery
To play this, you have to keep the app open, meaning you are constantly updating your GPS, which consumes a lot of battery. Because of this, sometimes I couldn’t even use my phone for primary purposes (e.g. calling someone or checking e-mail)
When I walk, I usually listen to podcast, so when I turned on this game, suddenly wild pockemon appeared and it distracted me. Also it could be dangerous, since you might end upping looking at your phone while walking. Some people even entered restricted areas, or had accidents, etc.
3. No specific goal
I didn’t find specific goal out of this, which was the primary reason I stopped playing this.
In short, nothing is perfect. It didn’t suit me, but probably it does for others. Also, it can be used for other interesting purpose such as phycological care or education.
This time, I learned that:
Instead of getting pokemon, I prefer pursuing certain goal for my life.