The debut of Pokémon Go, which officially launched yesterday, has inspired thousands of wannabe Poké trainers to document their quests to catch ’em all on social media.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the original Pokémon games, and the company is celebrating with an augmented reality game that uses GPS technology to let players uncover the Pokémon characters lurking in their own neighborhoods. It’s a cool concept that appears to be well-executed–and, of course, ripe for meme creation.
The interface mimics a Google Maps layout—but where there was previously just a real-life local museum or restaurant, there is now a Pokéstop that is stocked with helpful items like Pokéballs. The game offers up hotspots called “Gyms,” which teams of players can take over (similar to being the “mayor” of a location on Foursquare).
But the best part? The game uses your camera to make it seem like there’s a Nidoran sitting next to you on the bus . . .
. . . or a Charizard in your backyard.
For some players, the Pokémon become almost like friends . . .
. . . or unexpected hurdles.