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  Pokemon Go: the good, bad, ugly truth

Pokemon Go: the good, bad, ugly truth

| SANSKRITI TALWAR
Published : Jul 12, 2016, 1:58 pm IST
Updated : Jul 12, 2016, 1:58 pm IST

Pokemon Go is presently the most talked-about game on the internet.

Pokemon could be rats, snakes, dragons, eggs, birds, trees, turtles and even birds.
 Pokemon could be rats, snakes, dragons, eggs, birds, trees, turtles and even birds.

Pokemon Go is presently the most talked-about game on the internet.

So everyone is talking about the mega-viral game Pokemon Go, and you may seem to have absolutely no clue about ‘What exactly is Pokemon,’ wondering if someone could explain it to you. While many may know what Pokemon is, there are quite a few who don’t know what the new game is all about. Don’t worry! We have it covered.

Also read: Pokemon Go adds $7.5 billion to Nintendo market value

What is Pokemon

Pokemon roam on the land or near the water, depending on their type—they could be rats, snakes, dragons, eggs, birds, trees, turtles and even birds.

Pokemon is a linguistic blend of words for ‘pocket monsters’ and is a media franchise owned by The Pokemon Company, which exploded in popularity in the late 1990s. The franchise was originally a video game for Game Boy, which was also televised later as a popular Pokemon series.

Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go is a free-to play mobile game available for both iOS and Android smartphone. However, the game is currently available in US, Australia and New Zealand, and the international release is presently halted due to an ongoing server glitch.

Also read: Pokemon Go international launch delayed due to server issues The Pokemon Go game makes use of the smartphone’s GPS, uses your neighbourhood map, or basically anywhere you would go. The game uses your phone’s camera to make a Pokemon appear on your phone’s screen, via a random mapped location. You then need to physically go to that area on the map and ‘catch’ them.

To play the game, after launching it, you need to start trekking to prominent local landmarks (based on your neighbourhood) — represented in the game as “Pokestops”. Here, you can gather supplies such as Pokeballs (used to capture the Pokemon for training).

At other locations called ‘gyms’ — which may or may not be actual gyms in real world — Pokemon battle one another for supremacy. The combination of a game and real-time interaction is known as augmented reality (AR). The idea of the behind the game is to make players travel around the world to catch Pokemon.

Stay safe when playing Pokemon Go

As the game requires players to travel the world (or at least around their own city) in order to play it, some criminal-minded individuals have been using the game’s mechanics to trap and cheat the players. The game helps bring strangers together, in places where they never would have visited otherwise. According to the recent reports, a teenage girl found a dead body while looking for Pokemon. In another incident, the local police in Missouri also claimed that four suspected robbers has lured victims with the possibility of Pokemon.

Also read: Beware! Robbers prey on Pokemon Go players

Also read: Players in hunt for Pokemon Go monsters feel real-world pain

Pokemon Go—a security threat to your Google data

The game is also a subject to security concerns for many Google users. Since the game takes full access to users’ Google accounts, the game is quietly leeching on data from the user’s online data. Detected by a security analyst Adam Reeve, while launching the game, players either have to sign in using their Google account or through the Pokemon Trainer Club. However, the latter site has currently suspended all new registrations, leading many to have no other option but to choose signing in through their Google accounts.

However, after signing in using a Google account, the game app does not notify the user about the type of data the game is accessing from his Google account. Google is presently reportedly working with the game developers to patch this area and make sure no information is being fetched without the user’s permissions. As for now, iPhone and Android users are reporting that the Pokemon Go game has been accessing their Google accounts by default without any permission.

Though, the Pokemon Go game has gone mega-viral on the gaming platform, it has its own benefits and flaws. Where the game will let you meet people you would otherwise would never meet, it can also attract complete strangers that may pose as a serious threat. Moreover, the game can gain access of your Google account without notifying you at all.

Still, officially the game is not available for the Indian audience. However, the developers have promised to launch the game soon internationally.