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July 11, 2016

Pokémon GO craze lands in Australia

The launch of the widely anticipated Pokémon GO app has taken Australia by storm. Aussie gamers are obsessing over the new AR (Augmented Reality) experience which opens up a universe of Pokémon to find, catch, trade, and battle on your mobile device. Pokémon GO tracks your GPS information to allow players to challenge Pokémon in real-life locations such as your own neighbourhood. The characters are animated right into your surroundings using your phone’s camera bringing this immersive gaming experience to the next level. Pokéfans are now taking to the streets all over the country in an attempt to capture these virtual monsters and compete with other users in genuine scenarios. The highly addictive game has been downloaded over 100,000 times by Australians since its release.  
Pokémania outside the Sydney Opera House  Photo: Peter Rae

Pokémania outside the Sydney Opera House
Photo: Peter Rae

What makes this gaming phenomenon stand-out is the fact that it promotes real-world discovery and interaction with a community outside of the house. Yesterday, over 1,000 budding Pokémon trainers gathered for a #pokéGOwalk event at Sydney Opera House in an epic bid to ‘Catch Em’ All’. Content Manager of Oz-Comic Con and one of the organisers of the Pokémon Go Walk, Guy ‘Yug’ Blomberg commented that “Although players had their heads down in their smartphones, it was still something of a social experience. Wherever rare Pokémon appeared, people would call out and crowds would gather. The abundance of lures, which attract the creatures, meant there were plenty to choose from.” To complement the mobile app, Nintendo are launching a wrist-worn wearable called Pokémon GO Plus. This device will assist to preventing users from wandering into traffic when hunting a nearby Charizard. It’s safe to say, the use of our smartphone’s location services are becoming more and more sophisticated in terms of gathering information and creating personalised user experiences. It looks like there are interesting times ahead in the tech world and we’re fascinated to see where these innovations lead to next. We will be watching this space to identify future opportunities for brands to integrate these technologies with how they target and communicate with their audience. Sources – Mashable, Sydney Morning Herald