This morning, a baffled voice on the radio asked, “Yeh ‘Paakimon’ kya hai?” Those of us who grew up in the ’90s and early 2000s took a minute to snicker rudely at his expense, before we got right back to the newest virtual world craze – Pokémon Go.
Pokémon (a contraction of “pocket monsters”) was created in 1989 by Japanese game designer and insect-collector Satoshi Tajiri. Populated by strange powerful creatures, ‘trainers’ who “gotta catch ’em all”, and the evil but incompetent trio who call themselves ‘Team Rocket’, the Pokémon universe is right up there in the ’90s kids’ imagination, along with Harry Potter and Disney. Prior to Pokémon’s TV release in India, flyers were distributed outside schools, and kids who’d already been trading Pokémon cards were over the moon. But despite its initial success a decade ago, things have been fairly quiet on the Pokémon front. That is, until now.
Pokémon Go, launched on July 6, 2016, by the makers of the original game and TV show, has become the biggest mobile game in history. It has surpassed the user-base of popular social media platforms and websites such as Twitter, Snapchat, Netflix, and even dating apps like Tinder.
The game allows you to play as a Pokemon trainer whose job is to capture and train them. To play, you simply have to walk around with the app open and catch the various pokémon that show up in various places around your city and win points.
Sounds pretty simple, right? But people have been absolutely losing their shit over the game since it launched. From popping up in totally inappropriate places, to causing sudden herd mentality, Pokémon Go has caused some very strange things to happen. Don’t believe us? Don’t believe us? Well check out some of these noteworthy instances:
— Sam Thorne (@Strippin) July 13, 2016
— GameSpot (@gamespot) July 13, 2016
Pastor Rick Wiles: Satan Is Using Pokemon Go To Spawn Demonic Powers To Murder Christians [VIDEO] https://t.co/Pk2paU4M8y
— Steve Q (@TestSubject52) July 14, 2016
Pokemon is corrupting our youth. Do NOT let your child download this sinful game made by Satan pic.twitter.com/qfF7G7gX6G
— donny (@lnternetbuIly) July 15, 2016
Nerd Playing Pokémon Go Gets Stabbed During Mugging, Kept Playing https://t.co/HJ3NEiIuK3
— Total Frat Move (@totalfratmove) July 12, 2016
— SFist (@SFist) July 13, 2016
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) July 12, 2016
— The Australian (@australian) July 15, 2016
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton want to catch voters with Pokémon Go https://t.co/dTdWLbW0V1
— TIME.com (@TIME) July 15, 2016
— HuffPostGoodNews (@goodnews) July 14, 2016
— Jenna Abrams (@Jenn_Abrams) July 13, 2016
— Kshithi (@elysian_eunoia) July 13, 2016
This has to be a new definition of crazy. https://t.co/ai2WrpvOMQ
— India Rocks (@namoindiapm985) July 14, 2016
Just when you think you've heard the most absurd thing you will ever hear, someone goes and tops it. https://t.co/C1ZeHuZt92
— TJ (@amazingatheist) July 15, 2016
— bennettboy_ (@bennettboy_) July 9, 2016
With inputs by Lipi Mehta.
Featured image credit: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images.