With the amount of tracking and realism being incorporated into our gadgets, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the world has been teetering on the edge of a full blown AR-explosion for quite some time. So it is not surprising that it was Niantic, riding on the back of its success with Ingress, that finally pushed the world over that AR-edge when it launched Pokémon Go recently. Apart from driving people nuts, what it has also done is increase the count of “under the rock” beginnings on such articles. If you still don’t know about Pokémon Go, you were probably hit by a rock instead of being under it, and have been in a coma for the past few weeks. It is basically a game that lets you pretend you are a Pokémon catcher and the world around you has Pokémons that you can catch by swiping imaginary Pokeballs at them. To start with, it is a brilliant concept with a sure shot formula for success. I mean, who wouldn’t want to relive their childhood days with a bunch of cute animated creatures?
I hopped on to the craze too and started playing it. Since the app mandates moving around the real world to move around in-game, I believed that I had an advantage since I travel about 40 kms each day. And I wasn’t wrong. Eggs were hatching left and right and I was identifying particular spawn spots everywhere. Before I knew it, I was strapped to the catch’em all bandwagon. In fact, I actually felt jealous of people around me who were playing it on their PCs using emulators and spoofing their location. They had it easy and simply pressed buttons on their keyboard to move around the entire world catching Pokémon. Their advantage? Well, they could teleport themselves to say Sydney where people actually spent more on things like Lure modules and you were highly likely to come across rare Pokemons. Worried about the chance of being banned? What are fake accounts for you choir boy?! The possibility of Pokemon trading between accounts in the future would let you transfer the ones you caught from the banned account to another one.
And then it hit me.
One day, my phone, which was always on my desk with Pokémon Go open and charger plugged in, suddenly shut down without warning. I assumed it was a battery discharge and tried to switch it on again, which it refused to do. It was then I realised that my phone was perhaps at the highest temperature it has ever been. I gave it a while and switched it back on – and as expected, it had about 60% of charge, having lost about 20% without any explanation. Still, I refused to stop playing. That is until the same happened to me while I was walking on the road with Pokémon Go open. Once again, another 20% drop. This had me alarmed. I have played 700MB full blown RPGs on my phone without such an occurrence.