Pokemon Go has been called both a nuisance to society and a savior for those looking for an escape from the real world. But the developer, Niantic Labs, has come forward to say what they hope people get out of the insanely-popular Pokemon game.
John Hanke of Niantic Labs participated in a video to send a message to Pokemon Go players about their goals for the game. Hanke describes that they wanted Pokemon Go to get people outside to explore and get exercise, and to help make the world a better place. You can watch the video below.
The video comes on the day that Japan has finally gained access to the overly popular Pokemon game, which they stated they wanted to wait until they absolutely knew for sure the servers wouldn't crash once it released.
They also reissue the warning that runs across the loading screen in the game, advising players to keep your head up and to stay alert of your surroundings to enjoy the world around you, and to be safe.
Pokemon originated in Japan before coming over to the United States, so their fanbase is probably gigantic compared to the U.S., so it's no surprise that Niantic Labs waited so long to release the game in Japan. With how many server crashes and bugs we were experiencing in the West, Japan's Pokemon audience would have doubled the chaos.
GameSpot reports that Niantic Labs is partnering with McDonald's in Japan to have over 3000 restaurants converted into PokeStops and gyms to help draw in more customers. And from what I've seen of other fast-food restaurants taking advantage of the same thing, it's going to help McDonald's immensely.
There has been a ton of criticism of the game's grasp on society, from seeing stupid people getting into silly car accidents to people walking off bluffs or falling into mineshafts. But as with every toy, there will also be those stupid people who ruin it for everyone. But what I see when I play Pokemon Go is strangers communicating in public, striking up conversations, connecting on a level that didn't exist before. Especially in a city as mean as Los Angeles, people have a whole different level of respect for you if they see you're playing Pokemon Go just like them. It's connecting people, whether critics want to admit it or not. There's good and bad, but if used right, it really could help better the life of someone who is playing both physically and socially.