Extra! Extra! You no longer have to hide your Pokémon obsession from the world! Leave your house wearing your Pikachu shirt and hold your geek head up high, because it’s 2016 and Pokémon Fever has reached levels not even seen in the late 90s!
Thanks to the recent release of Pokémon Go, Pokémon has never been cooler. But you knew Pokémon was cool all along, which is why back in 2006 when everyone started putting their Pokémon cards away and getting into Call of Duty you protested and said “That will never last!” And you’re right, it didn’t last! The whole world is now playing Pokémon Go and it’s literally all that anyone will talk about. Jobs have been put on hold. Banks and post offices are shut down. The world economy has ground to a halt – we assume – and all anyone knows is that there are Pokémon out there to catch and the world will not go on until we’ve caught ‘em all! And probably even then.
But before you can get catching ‘em all – or even if you know nothing about what a Pokémon is or why it needs to be caught – Screen Rant is here to help you. Prepare for the pending aPokécalypse with the 17 Things You Need to Know About Pokémon Go.
17 It’s Getting People Laid
Forget about the tired stereotype of the nerd that holds onto their virginity in exchange for a life filled with Pokémon. Now that Pokémon Go is here to get the Pokémon-obsessed out of their houses and into the real world, it turns out nerds are finding each other, falling in love, and getting busy - in other words, sex. There's probably also some Pokémon hunting, as well.
Ever since the app’s release, people all over the web have been claiming that they've met fellow Pokémon hunters on their journeys with the game. Apparently, the connection of two people looking for rare and hidden pocket monsters is so strong that sparks fly – aside from those of the Pikachu variety – and magic happens. In fact, an entire thread on tech blog Gizmodo is dedicated to this very topic, and many are claiming that the power of Pokémon Go is real, and players are actually getting to sneak the occasional Pikachu at other players’ Weedles.
16 New Pokemon Are Coming
Although Pokémon Go hasn’t been out very long up to this point, already crazed Pokémon hunters are jonesing for more creatures to catch. And while it’s yet to be confirmed that anyone has caught ‘em all, with 151 original Pokémon out there and capturable, according to the Pokémon Go Pokédex – not to mention all of the obsessed fans with nothing but time on their hands this summer – it’s only a matter of time until new Pokémon will need to be added to the game.
But fear not, because it’s been reported that game developer Niantic is working on adding more Pokémon to the game. Eventually. In the meantime, Niantic has confirmed that trading is definitely coming in a future update in order to really capture the original essence of the Pokémon of our youths. But with 721 official Pokémon created since Pokémon’s debut in 1995, there’s a lot more characters that fans are going to want to see on Pokémon Go in the near future.
15 It Started As an April Fool's Day Joke by Google in 2014
Between controlling the way we communicate, learn, and play, Google is the all-knowing entity that owns a huge part of our daily lives. It’s also the company that can apparently predict the future. As part of the search giant’s yearly April Fool’s Day prank, back in 2014 Google released a video that teased a new feature for Google Maps whereby users would be able to explore the world and find wild Pokémon. If that sounds like the exact concept of Pokémon Go, that’s because it is the exact concept of Pokémon Go.
Google’s video claimed that users would “explore all types of terrain with Google Maps on their iPhone or Android to find each and every one of the wild Pokémon.” But before you go around saying that Google invented a time machine or the Pokémon Go developers stole the idea from Google, you should know that Niantic is actually owned by Google. Whether or not they started developing the app after seeing Google’s April Fool’s Day prank remains to be seen.
14 It’s Making Nintendo A Literal Fortune
Nintendo has come upon hard times lately after the massive failure of its Wii U console and the resounding “meh” that seems to be meeting its new Nintendo NX. It’s safe to say that the company needed a win, and it got one from an unexpected place as Pokémon Go launched and took the world by storm in a matter of days.
Just one week after the app’s release, Nintendo stock has skyrocketed and is up 59% since before the app came out. What that amounts to is Nintendo being worth over 9 billion dollars MORE than it was just a few days ago. With the app being downloaded 7.5 million times in the U.S. alone and word of mouth only spreading as Pokémon Go takes over the world, Nintendo looks to be sitting on a goldmine made of Pokémon; which is especially impressive considering that they are only one third investors in the Pokémon brand.
13 It’s Only Available in the US, Australia, and New Zealand
It makes sense that Pokémon Go was released in the United States first – after all, the rest of the world is already used to seeing the US get everything cool before they do. But while Americans are running around to the White House, Mount Rushmore, and the Statue of Liberty to find various Pokémon, not everyone is being left out; Australians and New Zealanders are also in on the action, scouring the outback and their sheep-filled landscape, respectively. But what about everyone else?
Despite initial plans for Pokémon Go’s quick international roll-out, which was set to include the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, Niantic has had to pause everything while they get their server issues fixed. Considering the game’s massive demand right out of the gate, issues have plagued Niantic and look to limit their ability to release the game in other markets in the near future.
On the bright side, always optimistic Canadians have taken their lack of Pokémon Go and have turned it into their own game, creating bootleg versions of Pokémon out in the wild. It looks like the rest of the world will have to follow suit for the time being.
12 More People Have the App than Tinder
We live in a scary, ever evolving world – but not the type of evolving that Pokémon do, more like the type where every week a new tech trend comes along to brainwash our society and occupy our time. And just like Black Mirror predicted, Pokémon Go is the newest reason for the entire population to stare down at their phones; but hey, at least we’re all having fun.
To put into perspective the enormity that is Pokémon Go, you just have to look at the numbers. Five percent of all Android users in the US have downloaded the app, which amounts to more than the amount of people that use Tinder. And 60% of those that downloaded it use it every day, which means it’s used more than Twitter. The app is also used an average of 43 minutes a day, which is more than WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, and Snapchat. So yeah, forget everything you thought you knew about technology, because Pokémon Go is here and nothing else matters.
11 It’s Sparked Bidding on a Pokémon Movie
With the wave of intellectual property nostalgia that is sweeping over our blockbusters, why, you ask, has there not yet been a major Pokémon film? Well, as it turns out Hollywood has always had plans to get into the Pokémon business; but those plans just got a hell of a lot more important.
Just like the Angry Birds and Emoji films that have respectively debuted and are in production, Hollywood is looking to build off the success of Pokémon Go and get a Pokémon film in development, like, yesterday. Word is that Legendary Pictures is working on getting the rights in order to make a live-action film, and that Chronicle writer Max Landis is working on the script. And while this sounds like an exciting prospect in the world of video-games-turned-movies, who knows if by the time the film is made the world’s population won’t be too consumed in one big Pokémon hunt to care.
10 Legendary Pokémon Are Hiding in the Game’s Code
Anyone who’s ever played a video game will attest to the fact that no game is complete without a rare quest to find a hidden Easter Egg. And perhaps Pokémon Go’s Easter Egg is the holy grail of the game, as some users have found hints in the game’s code alluding to Legendary Pokémon waiting to be captured.
Just like the original Pokémon games, searches for its rarest creatures look to be among the most rewarding experiences, and considering that Pokémon Go’s main concept is the search for Pokémon, it makes sense that the rare ones would be the hardest to find. Though no one has located them yet, Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, and Mewtwo and Mew are among those listed in the files for the game. Further hints at their existence come to players who reach Level 5 and find themselves invited to join a team – Instinct, Mystic, or Valor – which are respectively tied to Zapdos, Articuno, and Moltres.
9 The Game Has a Tendency to Send Players to Strange Places
When the entire concept of a game is to send users on quests to various places, chances are at least some of the places won’t be to everyone’s liking. After all, there’s only so many famous monuments and public parks in any given city where Pokémon can reasonably hide. But what’s weird about Pokémon Go is just how many insane locations players are being sent to without their knowledge.
Stories of players wandering into police stations, private properties, and local businesses that actually pander to Pokémon Go users have been surfacing, but that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of where the app is leading people. Gizmodo has compiled this handy list, and some of the places on it include a strip club, a gay bathhouse, a memorial to confederate soldiers, a child cemetery, and a church of Scientology. At the very least, no one can accuse Pokémon Go of not being open-minded and accepting of literally everyone.
8 It’s Causing a Malware Outbreak
To those outside of the United States, Australia, or New Zealand hoping to download Pokémon Go before its official launch in your country, the only advice we have to give is this; don’t. Cyber-criminals looking to take advantage of the game’s massive popularity have released unofficial versions of Pokémon Go into the wild and reports are that many of these app versions are infested with nasty malware.
Security experts say that a remote access tool called “DroidJack” gives attackers control over the phone of someone who has downloaded the malware-stricken Pokémon Go app. However, since none of these versions of the app have made it into any app store, users who weren’t seeking out an unofficial version of the app needn’t worry.
Also making its way around the internet is a new scam that tries to get users to pay $12.99 a month for the full version of the already free app. The email being circulated claims to be from Nintendo and says that due to the overwhelming response of the game Niantic will need to freeze accounts of those who do not pay the fee in the next 24 hours.
7 People Have Been Seriously Injured Playing It
People burying their faces in their phones and getting hurt because of it is nothing new; as long as there’s been mobile media – books, newspapers, Gameboys, cell phones – there have been people who won’t look up from them. But with Pokémon Go mania sweeping the world at an alarming rate, it seems that more people than ever are caught up in the augmented reality of the app and are ending up injured due to the real reality of the outside world.
Since the game brings users out into the physical world, many have found themselves so obsessed with the hunt for Pokémon that they aren’t paying attention to where they’re going. Skateboarding and biking injuries have been reported, and one player even twisted her ankle while walking down a sidewalk looking for Pokémon. According to the player, her phone vibrated to alert her that there was a Pokémon nearby, and when she looked up she “just fell in a hole.” No word on whether the hole was a metaphor for the one she will need to crawl out of after months spent playing Pokémon Go.
6 It Led a Teenager to a Dead Body
In the days since Pokémon Go’s release, many beneficial uses have been uncovered. For one thing, it helps players get exercise. It’s also causing many to be more social than ever before and it’s bringing Pokémon back in a big way. But there’s one use for Pokémon Go that no one expected: its ability to solve missing persons cases and scare the crap out of teenagers.
When one player in Wyoming was searching the nearby river for water Pokémon she stumbled across something unlike the other 50 Pokémon that she had found earlier. That’s because rather than a Pokémon she found a dead body, lying face down in the water just a few feet from where she was walking. The teenager put her fear aside and ended up calling the police to report the corpse. And in case you’re for some reason more interested in whether she caught the water Pokémon than why there was a body in a river in Wyoming, the teen said she stopped playing the game after her discovery and hasn’t had any opportunities to play it since.
5 Armed Robbers Have Used the Game as Bait
It seems that everyone is capitalizing on the success of Pokémon Go, from restaurants to churches to, yes, even criminals. Police have reported that criminals armed with a handgun in Missouri have been luring players to them using the app in an attempt to rob them.
Although the suspects were caught and charged with felony robbery and are probably not great people, no one is talking about how they must have been expert Pokémon Go players, considering the level they would have needed to attain in order to track and lure their victims to a secluded place. According to police the robbers added a beacon to a Pokéstop in an empty parking lot and were able to lure four Pokémon Go players to them at 2am. If nothing else, this shows not only how many people are playing Pokémon Go at all hours of the night, but how Pokémon Go spans across all demographics; law-abiding citizens and criminals alike.
4 The Game Isn’t Without Its Problems
For all the love of Pokémon Go that is being sent out into the world, there seems to be an increasing number of hatred and complaining to go along with it. Ever since the app went viral in the biggest way possible, users have been suffering from server issues and in-game crashes that have made their Pokémon catching experience less than ideal.
3 Celebrities Are Playing It
You know a game has really hit the stratosphere when John Mayer starts playing it; and that’s exactly what has happened with Pokémon Go. The singer has professed his love for Pokémon Go on Instagram and is apparently done Waiting On the World to Change as he now has Pokémon Go and needs nothing else out of life. He also has a ton of money, which comes in handy when making the decision to purchase a $99.99 pack of 14,5000 Pokécoins; so congrats to John Mayer on that.
Other celebrities that have been vocal about their use of the app include model Chrissy Teigen and comedian/Daily Show host Trevor Noah. Perhaps one day you’ll run into these people while searching for Mewtwo. Maybe you can be friends with Chrissy Teigen by trading her a Snorlax for a Digglet. The world is full of possibilities now that we live in an age where celebrities and masses of common geeks play the same game all day every day.
2 It’s A Hilarious Meme Machine
Like any worthwhile trend, Pokémon Go really became noticeable when it spawned an unstoppable freight train of memes, tweets, and pictures of Dig-pics; which is what we’re calling pictures of Digglet on a man’s crotch. It’s the thing that we’ll all look back on in three months and wonder what was going on in our heads – basically, it’s 2016’s Blue and Black/White and Gold Dress – but for now we’re all having the time of our lives.
If you consider yourself a comedy connoisseur and your Twitter timeline isn’t filled with mass amount of Pokémon Go jokes then you’re definitely doing the internet wrong. Just check out this list for some of the best Pokémon Go tweets and this one for the best memes. Or better yet, put down Pokémon Go for a second and come up with your own Pokémon Go joke. Contribute to the fun! Share your Pokémon Go tweets and memes with us!
1 You Can Get Pikachu As Your Starter
Ladies and gentleman, if this isn’t life-changing news than nothing is. Either smack yourself in the head if you’ve already started playing or thank us if you’re about to, because we’re here to tell you that you don’t need to choose any of the three starter Pokémon if you don’t want to. Forget Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur – they’re common Pokémon trash now that you’re about to learn the following – Pikachu can be yours from the get-go!
For the player who wants everything but is afraid of committing to anything, to get Pikachu as your starter all you have to do is repeatedly run away from the other options at the start of the game. It’s a little time-consuming and non-committal, but what worthwhile endeavor in life isn’t? Eventually, after repeatedly neglecting the three options you’re given a total of four times, the characters will respawn in front of you; but this time they’ll bring Pikachu with them. And just like that you can be the envy of the entire Pokémon Go loving world; which, as you just learned, is literally the whole world.
Happy gaming, and good luck catching ‘em all!
Which of these facts were you most surprised to learn? Is there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments!