I’ve spent the last few days here at FACT shaking with Pokéwithdrawal. So, to avoid playing the game during my working hours, I thought I’d fuel my addiction the next best way I can, by blogging about it and the top 7 weird things that have come out of it.
1) "You teach me and I teach you. PO-KE-MON!"
If you've not already been excitedly humming the Pokémon theme, then I'm sorry, I think you need to sort out your life priorities. I am joking, however, if you’ve already jumped at the chance to sing away, then you don’t need to feel like you’re alone. According to Spotify, since Pokémon Go launched, the original 90s theme has been played so much that it's seen an increase in popularity of 382%.
2) The accidental gym
We've all heard of this one by now, but it’s one of my favourites. Imagine waking up and pulling back the curtains to find a group of strangers all stood huddled in around your door. Well, that’s what has happened for Boon Sheridan who, living in a converted church, finds throngs of wannabe Pokémon trainers all hitting up the important gym that his house has been marked as. While it’s a funny mental image, Sheridan is somewhat concerned, especially if Pokémon fever is here to stay, as the increase in vehicles and bodies could have a negative effect on the value of the property.
3) The hoaxes
Jack Black is dead, The Priory of Sion is real, and the Loch Ness Monster has been found. Like all things shrouded with popularity or general interest, chances are it’ll be accompanied by a hoax. Pokémon Go is no exception. Legend has it, 26-year old Lamar Hickson was driving down an unnamed road in Massachusetts when a wild Pikachu appeared. Stopping his car to catch the rare sight, Lamar went on to cause one of the worst accidents is driving history. Sound a bit too grand? Well, I’m calling it now. Pokémon GO is an app created by aliens in order to reduce us all to vulnerable states, or that Mewtwo can only be found in Area 51.
4) Don’t Pokémon and drive
Whatever current phenomenon has swept the land, you can guarantee it comes with a handful of hilarious memes and shareable images. One in particular, beyond the man dressed as everyone's favourite pokémon trainer Ash, is in the form of a motorway warning sign. You know those screens that often remind drivers not to continue driving with sleepy eyes or to not drink and drive? Well, this one sign (whether it’s a Photoshop creation or not) is advising drivers not to “Pokémon and drive”. So what this means is that future generations can possibly expect to see Pikachu pop up on their theory tests.
5) Kayaking to the gym
Some of the map points that the app has allocated as Pokéstops and gyms are quite… interesting. Although the man and his ordeal with the mass of people outside his house made it onto this list, this story involves two women who kayaked out into the sea to capture a gym that had yet to be taken over. All in the name of team Mystic - so as a member of team blue, I approve of this dedication.
6) Getting people into new locations
It’s easy for people to laugh at the hysteria around Pokémon Go, but from a marketing point of view there's a lot of scope to build audiences. If your venue has been lucky enough to be turned into a point of interest in the augmented reality game, then you are likely trying your hardest to reap the benefits. It seems to be working! Small businesses are reporting that sales are increasing as people step over thresholds they wouldn’t otherwise frequent in their quests to catch them all. Sometimes it can be difficult to get people into a venue they’ve been into before, but thanks to Charmander and friends, we’ve found a pretty each way to get around that.
7) Gotta catch 'em all
UNICEF estimates that 353,000 babies are born everyday around the world. So, it’s a pretty common occurrence, whereas a return of global Poké fever is not. At least that’s how Dad to be Jonathan Theriot saw it, as he pulled out his phone to capture a wild Pidgey that appeared on the bed that his wife was giving birth to their daughter on. That’s definitely dedication, but I don't’ think his daughter will be happy to find out that he was more focused on catching a Pokémon - I mean, c’mon, it’s not even a rare one.
If you haven't already, make sure you download Pokémon Go from the Google Play store and tweet us @FACT_Liverpool to share your screen shots and tell us which Pokémon you find hanging out in FACT!