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PokemonGo has been all over the news and social media since its launch, although the game is yet to be available in many countries around the world. However, the delay in launch hasn’t affected its viral effect at all and people are finding ways to download and play the game from various unofficial sources. By now, there are thin chances that you haven’t spotted gamers walking around with their smartphones, trying to catch Pokemon.

Cops playing Pokemon Go
                                                               Image credit Twitter/@Railvas

We haven’t seen a smartphone game get this popular and stay there for long enough ever before. If you haven’t played the game yet, PokemonGo is an augmented reality game in which you have to catch virtual Pokemon by actually walking and exploring your surroundings. The game has the map of your place with Pokestops and Gyms where you can find Pokemon and compete with other players. Here is a dig deep into the game, to find out what could be the reasons behind its viral effect.

Augmented reality makes it immersive

Augmented reality is the technology responsible for most of the immersive and addictive effects of PokemonGo. If you’re wondering what augmented reality means, the simplest example would be live scores on your TV screen while watching a cricket match. It is the technology that’s used to superimpose a 3D visual imagery above the reality of your surroundings so that you feel like it’s really there where you are in the time and location. In PokemonGo, you see Pokemons on your screen along with the camera view, which fools you into thinking that the Pokemon is actually right in front of you to be caught. Augmented reality is one of the biggest addictive factors in PokemonGo.

Big Data behind the stage

PokemonGo presents the gameplay based on the features of your location. It detects your location from the GPS and tailors the Pokemon that you would find nearby accordingly. For example, you will find water based Pokemon near water bodies. This means the game has a lot of maps data working behind the stage. It uses this data to make the gaming experience richer and more immersive.

Since the game has massive amounts of data about the locations from around the world, the data is definitely huge. We call this the big data and it happens to be our area of interest and expertise, too. These large data sets are responsible for the context based gaming experience, which is one thing that makes PokemonGo look so immersive and real like. The player feels the closeness of the game to the reality, which is something that can make the gaming experience more rewarding.

When you play PokemonGo, you are in fact playing Google maps with augmented reality that is powered by big data. This gives you the feeling of co-presence with the virtual world of Pokemons within your physical reality. Without this effect of big data, the game could have gone unnoticed by the vast majority of people who aren’t really into smartphone games.

The fear of missing out

The target markets of PokemonGo are the millennial generation and Generation Z. People belonging to these generations are extremely aware of what others are doing through the connectivity of internet. They are also under the fear of missing out on something that is fun and cool, according to the psychologists, which they refer to as FOMO (Fear of missing out).

In short, you would be pressured to try PokemonGo just because the whole world is going crazy about it even if you aren’t really a gamer or Pokemon fan. On a subconscious level, this gives you the reassurance that you’re in the pack and not missing out on anything good. After the addictive nature of PokemonGo courtesy of big data and augmented reality, this is one of the major factors that helped the game penetrate into its target audience on such a short notice. As the media keeps sensationalizing the game, you finally give in and join the Pokemon hunt, even if not for long.

The Pokemon nostalgia                  

Among the other factors, nostalgia is one prominent thing that has helped PokemonGo go viral. Most of the target audience of PokemonGo grew up playing Pokemon or watching it as kids. Now that the old gaming consoles are outdated and redundant, PokemonGo gives them a chance to revisit their good old childhood once again within the comfort of their smartphones. Mix this with AR and big data and you get the secret recipe responsible for the success of PokemonGo. On a lighter note, here are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t be playing PokemonGo, at least just yet.

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