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Crank’s Corner

Go Take a Walk!

As demanded by all readers, here is a simple Q and A on the various aspects of ‘Pokémon Go’, the record-breaking app-based game, which has taken the world by storm, and is said to have given a new lease of life to the Japanese gaming company Nintendo and improved its balance sheet — this is the beauty of modern-day market economics — despite the fact the game is 1) not actually developed by it 2) free.

Q: Give us a broad overview of  Pokémon Go

AnsPokémon Go is take off on ‘ Pokémon‘, which many of you may know is the short-form of ‘pocket monster’, which itself became famous after the actress Mae West memorably said “Are you just glad to see me or is that a pocket monster?”

Pokémon Go is a smart device-based ‘augmented reality’ game, which basically means putting to use the device’s GPS and camera to completely drain out its battery. Seriously,  Pokémon Go is a huge power-guzzler, and when you plug into the game, it is advisable that the device itself is plugged into a power-bank, which if it can be helped, should be linked up to a nuclear power station.

Q: What is the first step to the game?

Ans: First of all you need to download the game for which you need to have a smart device using which you must book a ticket to some foreign country where Pokémon Go has been officially launched. The detail to note is:  Pokémon Go is still to be launched in India.

But if you are one of those who is lazy to travel abroad just to download a game, there is an alternative: You can give your device to someone going abroad who can download on it there.

If you are not okay with this plan too, then there is another alternative: You can download the game here itself by fudging your geographical location on the app store.

Q: What next?

Ans: Once you download the game (either its ios or android version), you simply sign-in with your Google account, and then leisurely wonder, like most Indians do, whether this would mean that the guys at  Pokémon Go would be able to access your Gmail account. Ha. Ha. Ha. Don’t worry. No such thing ever happens. But rest assured, your mails are anyway accessible without you ever having registered with some third party.

After you are signed in, you are practically good to go and you can simply enter the main arena of the game (Pokémon Go Map) where you will be greeted with the all-important message: ‘Server Error’.

But this is pretty common. Just re-log in, and you will again get to see the ‘Server Error’ message. Well, this is said to be a recurring issue as many people are logged into the game at the same time. The biggest challenge in  Pokémon Go, by all accounts, is signing into it. Pity they don’t give points for that.

Once you log in, you will see The  Pokémon Go Map that looks like an animated version of Google Maps, where you will see many unmarked roads — this is where the beauty of augmented reality kicks in — as if you are in real Vadapalani which of course is well known for streets that carry no traffic marks on them.

The attraction of this game is that your local landmarks actually become ‘PokéStops‘ and ‘Pokémon Gyms’ — these terms may sound very technical, but when you actually play the game you will quickly realise that they are still technical.

Q: Forget it, man. Just tell us how the game works?

Ans: Just as you move in the real world, your avatar on the screen does too. And when you stop, your avatar on the screen does too. And when you fall into a ditch as you were too busy playing the game to notice it, your avatar on the screen most likely lets out a satisfied laughter.

Okay you know it, we are kidding only. Pokémons will pop up on the map with a small vibration as you walk along, and if you tap on them, you can try to capture them by throwing Poké Balls at them. Initially, it will be tough and you will end up making random scratches on the mobile screen, but when you keep playing it, sooner or later, you acquire skills to make pretty even scratches on your mobile screen.

The first four Pokémons you will come across are ‘Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Charmander and Pikachu‘, making it clear that the  Pokémons were named by: Chinni Jayanth.

Q: How does the game end?

Ans: As you keep playing, new and rare Pokémons will emerge and as you keep capturing them, you will move up through various levels and come to the last stage, wherein you will concentrate really hard and deep and that you will fail to see the oncoming tanker lorry, which will run over you. This is how it will end.