The Unexpected Rise of Pokémon Go

Sharif McCurdy ’22

The sudden and widespread re-emergence of Pokémon Go in our school has been surprising and overwhelming but it is based on many factors.

The strange spread of the app across our school and the sheer numbers of people playing, collecting, trading, and battling is undeniable.

The app, Pokémon GO, was a hit right after its release in 2016. It was the brainchild of game developer Niantic Labs, a former division of Google.

The game makes use of GPS data and the mobile device’s camera microphones and speakers to create an ‘augmented reality’ that allows users to capture and battle Pokémon from real-life locations. 

The interactive nature of the game allows for people to have connections, competitions, and trades which allows you and your friends to have fun together which is something we’ve been lacking recently.

Pokémon Go is a beautifully made game with interesting mechanics and well-executed ideas. Despite all of this, everywhere else in Winnipeg the game has died down significantly and the number of players is few and far between.

Until about a month ago, you could say the same about our school. Almost immediately following the student council election there was a massive boom in downloads and players at our school.

Some already had accounts from years ago and others had to completely restart. I am a member of the latter group.    

The trend mainly started in the Grade 11 class and branched out. It all began when the student council announced there would be a tournament and many people decided that it could be a fun idea to participate, especially because they have little to nothing else to do because of the mass closing of clubs and sports.

The real question is whether, after the tournament and all of the hype runs out, Pokémon Go will remain a staple at St. Paul’s or wither away like so many other games have.

No matter what happens in the future, many students are enjoying it right now and it’s lifting them out from their mundane lives and motivating them to try and catch ‘em all. 

Photo Credits: (Pokémon photo), app screenshots from Pokémon Go provided by students of St. Paul’s

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