One year ago today, adults, children and teens woke up, grabbed their phones and downloaded Pokémon Go. The augmented reality game had over 20 million daily users and made the player get out, assume the role of a Pokémon trainer and capture Pokémon outside in their real world.
The game utilizes a mobile device's GPS ability to locate, capture, battle and train virtual characters like Squirtle, Ditto and the loathed Rattata. The monsters would appear on the screen as if they were at the same real-world location as the player.
The game changer, console killer and hot new experience of socializing and gaming had hordes of players walking up and down Coastal Bend streets, neighborhoods and parks in a quest to find those desired pocket monsters.
The Corpus Christi Police Department praised the game for how it helped people get out and exercise.
Nightly events attracted thousands from all over the Coastal Bend to meet up at the Watergarden and other City parks. The goal of the game seemed to be achieved -- people got out and talked.
The game did cause some undesired issues -- distracted driving incidents prompted the Texas Department of Transportation to remind drivers not to play on the road; and there were cases where the GPS feature in the game actually revealed the player's location to waiting thieves.
Today, the once king of mobile games averages about five million daily users globally and no longer has the massive groups of players out looking for Pokémon. Parks are not crowded with hunters anymore, and console gaming is still winning.
However, in honor of the game's anniversary, players who still have the game can head out once more and try and capture Ash’s Pikachu. (Ash is the leading protagonist throughout the Pokémon series, and Pikachu is his iconic ally). Game developer Niantic announced Thursday that this new anniversary promotion will be going on from July 6-24 and will not only allow players to acquire a special Pikachu wearing Ash’s hat, but other goodies as well.
So, if you want, get nostalgic once more and capture the world’s favorite Pokémon.