Pokemon Go has taken over the world in the past week.
Let’s face it: nothing will be the same again.
The location-based mobile game (here’s your beginner’s guide) has gone insanely viral, and prompted millions of people to go trekking around their hometowns in search of Pikachu and his pals.
Given that Pokemon Go crosses the digital divide into real life, it has resulted in some extreme changes to human behaviour around the world…
1. People are rediscovering their local areas
Jc and I went on a Pokemon Go adventure earlier this morning. Got some beautiful shots because of it. pic.twitter.com/5DtAx0EmVv
— RyansAverageLife (@RyanAbe) July 15, 2016
2. It’s led to some BIG life choices
Tom Currie from New Zealand quit his job to become a full-time Pokemon hunter, booking 20 bus trips and visiting every corner of his nation in his goal to catch ’em all.
“I wanted to have an adventure,” Currie said. “I have been working for six years and I was desperate for a break. And Pokémon gave me the chance to live that dream.”
3. The US Presidential race is getting (even) weirder
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was first to get in on the Pokemon action this week, holding a campaign event at a Pokémon Go gym in Ohio.
Then her Republican rival Donald Trump got in on the act. His campaign team put together a Facebook video that depicts Clinton as a pokemon getting caught.
To be fair, this Presidential contest abandoned grown-up debate a long time ago, so we shouldn’t be surprised.
4. It could affect the housing market
This property advert in Australia is hoping to cash in on the Pokemon phenomenon. Under its ‘features’, it says:
“Directly across from a park with 2 Pokestops! Lures will be in place during the opens – Bring Kids of all Ages!”
5. It inspired a new start-up business
Because Pokemon Go appeals to young people and involves exploring, there have been widespread safety concerns.
But a seven-year-old budding entrepreneur saw this a business opportunity, opening a stall to sell Pokemon safety gear.
He even has a website at www.pokeglo.com.
6. People now sit around in lawn chairs after dark
— Mr. Syndicate (@ProSyndicate) July 15, 2016
7. Nintendo is back in business
Nintendo's mobile strategy:
2008: what's an iPhone
2010: what's an Android
2014: still no
2016: change how society functions
— Aaron Levie (@levie) July 11, 2016
So much so the Japanese company has just announced a new console reviving the glory of the NES.
8. Clever businesses are offering deals for Pokemon players
— Catch Em All (@CatchThemAlI) July 15, 2016
Some business gurus are already talking about the “Pokéconomy”.
9. While others have been (understandably) less welcoming to the Pokemon hunters
— Conor Jon Ellis (@ConorJonEllis) July 11, 2016
10. Even soldiers are being distracted
Get off the firing line, Pikachu! That's a safety violation! pic.twitter.com/WilmXFBHlf
— U.S. Marines (@USMC) July 11, 2016
This US military base was forced to issue a warning over the use of Pokemon GO at its secure locations. Although it made clear that armed forces personnel were not completely banned from playing the game (that would be crazy):
“Do not play the game on board the installation (other than in housing or other unrestricted areas) if it requires the player to use their cell phone camera; camera use is not approved in certain areas without written permission.”
11. It’s basically the new Tinder
anybody wanna Pokemon GO on a date with me Saturday night at the Santa Monica Pier?
— Sky Williams (@SkyWilliams) July 15, 2016
12. It’s prompted some religious devotion
— Hayley Morton (@Hi_its_Hayley) July 14, 2016
13. People are losing weight playing it
It’s no secret that Pokemon Go inspires exercise, and so naturally it’s helping people get trim.
According to Clinic Compare, if you catch 100 Pokemon a day, you’ll shed a pound roughly every three or three and a half days.
14. It’s even helped some people to grieve
My cousin died in 2012. He was a HUGE pokemon fan. I went to his grave to see if I could catch a pokemon around his grave and discovered one of 3 gyms in the huge cemetery is his grave! Discovering this has brought so much joy to an otherwise painful situation.
Pokemon Go is here to stay, folks.
Main image: Getty