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Moderator (Retired)
Moderator (Retired)

It’s the game that gripped a generation back in 1997 with the release of Blue and Red and the syndicated cartoon. A phenomenon that needs very little introduction and now it’s back on a new, mobile medium. After 2 days of release it was installed on 5% of America’s Android devices. It’s Pokémon GO!

John_G_Pokemon.pngNow, don’t let my gruff exterior fool you, I’m a Pokéfan through and through. I could spend hours writing about all the games, creatures and adventures, the highs and lows, the friendships and rivalries that I’ve had playing through the various Pokémon games over the last 20-odd years. But I’d like to write this articuno about the mew innovation that is Pokémon GO but, more specifically about the incredible use of technology that made it all possible. I’ll even try and throw a few Poke-puns in so keep your eyes peeled.


Back in 2011 there was an odd game called Ingress, released initially on Android and then iOS 2 years later. It worked by mixing augmented reality and real world locations - much like geocaching mixed with Google Street view.

The gameplay was based around capturing portals – places of public interest such as landmarks, monuments, churches – and triangulating between them all to control that area.

The great thing about these portals is that the players of the game submit requests for various local landmarks to be new portals, and over the lifetime of the game thousands upon thousands of new portals were created worldwide.

You may think I’ve got my wires all a tangela, but don’t worry, it’s all connected.

Ingress was developed by a company called Niantic. Sound familiar? That’s because Niantic are the developers behind Pokémon GO. All the portals that were important landmarks in Ingress have become Pokéstops. Effectively, the players of Ingress created the world you seel in Pokémon GO!


Pokémon GO is considered an Exergame. These have been around since the mid-80s with Atari and Nintendo creating peripherals and bikes to encourage exercise while gaming. These were always typically fringe devices and seemed rather jynxed until Nintendo’s masterfully exeggcuted Wii Fit brought the genre into homes towards the end of 2007.

The success of Nintendo’s Wii Fit led to rapid dashes with motion control gaming such as the Xbox Kinect and PlayStation Move, encouraging gamers to remain active.

Now, with the advent of accessible Augmented Reality games on mobile devices there has been a split in the development paths of Exergaming - the device-led likes of Wii and Kinect, or the AR route, as used in Pokémon GO.

Augmented Reality


For consoles and PCs the motion-capture home gaming of the Wii Fit, Kinect, Oculus rift and Leap motion has transformed the way gamers can interact with the world on the screen.

On the AR side the computer-generated landscapes are substituted with our own world, and add an additional overlay for us to interact with digitally; in this case, adding Pokémon to the real world.


This combination of Motion Capture plus Augmented Reality is a great development. Keeping everybody active while still being able to playing their favourite games means that the sofa-gamer stereotype is no longer valid. AR is certain to move in leaps and bounds in popularity - now that Pokémon GO is installed on more devices than Tinder we’ll see less people using their phones to catch partners, as we’re now too busy catching Pokémon 🙂

Gotta catch ‘em all

It’s still very early days but already we’ve seen some real world implications from the release of the game – libraries are taking advantage of their new status as Pokéstops, and there’s a real sense of community developing around local gyms.

It looks very much like the Pokémon GO world is also going to be massively shaped by the players themselves which in my book is a fantastic innovation and gives us the closest approximate experience of being true Pokémon masters yet.

Go get it here:



I had way too much fun coming up with the Pokémon puns for this article. Let us know in the comments below if you’ve got any better poképuns or tell us your Pokémon GO stories.

Super solver

The Press will go into overdrive when a Kid goes missing playing this.

Forum Team (Retired)
Forum Team (Retired)

Loved it! Got myself all into a poliwhirl reading it 🙂 You made this look eevie! Some may find it a little oddish but don't let their gloom get to you.

You're ma-champ Cat Happy


Forum Team (Retired)
Forum Team (Retired)

Hi John_G,

I took a pikachu blog and I love it. The information on AR really seel-ed the deal for me and I find the concept of this game failing a little farfetch'd. If we all muk in and work together there's no limit to what this game can achieve. Ditto on your point about encouraging gamers to remain active although I find the thought of too much excercise a bit ghastly!

Raichu are about this being a great game and I think more people should take a chancey on it.

I'm running out of puns now. Take it slow, bro.


Tuning in

Just installed this game, Lets see if it's cool as i hope it is 🙂


Thanks for great post

Fibre optic

Why are you talking about Ingress in the past tense? Ingress is still active and in fact there's an anomaly later this year in Birmingham where players from all over the country and even overseas will come to play. In fact, I was playing Ingress today as the Pokémon Go servers fell into a crumpled heap yet again!

Alessandro Volta

Great article John, excellent related puns.

I remember being a kid and starting out with Pokemon Red, as well as watching Ash try to become a Pokemon master in the cartoon series. The Jesse and James Team Rocket were pretty damn cool.

I've been playing the game for not long, but it's fun and it gives me a reason to get out a litte more. The app does need some work though, as the pokeball throw then app freeze isn't fun.

The DDOS against the game yesterday by hackers was pretty damn lame. Well, it's back now and hopefully they have Cloudfare protection now to prevent future DDOS.

One last thing, even though it is based on a previous (now defunct game), they've probably made a lot of improvements etc based on the experiences from that old defunct game. Likely many of those players now play Pokemon Go Cat Happy

Fibre optic

Ingress isn't defunct!

Joining in

Ingress is infact growing in popularity.

The anomalies are getting bigger, better and more agents attending.

Its a shame Niantic aren't pushing it a bit more, but with many Pokemon players trying Ingress, mostly for intel maps, we're gaining new players.Some will stay, others won't.

Good luck to both


Community Manager (Retired)
Community Manager (Retired)

Thanks for the comments about Ingress - the first I heard of it was when John was putting this blog together.

Sounds good, I'm off to download it now.

Fibre optic

@James_W Make sure you choose Englihtened, the Resistance kick kittens and steal sweets off babies. Not the sort of riff raff you want to be associating with. Smiley Very Happy

Up to speed

Love it! Smiley LOL

Alessandro Volta

Have noticed a HUGE influx of players in my locality on Ingress since PokemonGO came out.


Fed up with the initial server issues? or curios to see the origins of where PokemonGo came from? who knows, either way, PokemonGo has become quite a nice social feature. Ended up walking around my town on my own to start with, ended up with a group of near 50. Every day I see/talk to people playing PokemonGo.



I still love Ingress and blowing up smurf territory though 😉

Dialled in

A truly ghastly beard you have there, it looks more like a ponytaIL.Great blog mate, enjoyed reading it! 

Fibre optic

I got to the screen to install it, seen the permissions it required and it has not been added to my phone...

Do people not know just how easy it is to take down the entire web? Obviously, not or you wouldn't have installed this game. iPhones and iPads are even worse than you think.

Run a 'sniffer' on your router aimed at the IP of your iPad or iPhone and let it run all night. Then check the sniffer output in the morning, and what has been sent out!

Even turning Apple devices off makes no difference, it still sends out an encrypted block of data!

And people why I am suspicious of many devices!

Alessandro Volta

They removed most the stuff required, it was mistake that it was there. Should just be location / email /name now. Not everything like it once was.

Fibre optic

Well, WEP & WPA are both useless, since now both have been cracked. At the moment only WPA2 is safe. And people wonder why I stopped accessing my bank from my mobile.

On top of that you have the digital pickpocket - whom justs walks past you in the street, scanning all "contactless" credit and debit cards.

Fibre optic

 What would be the point of scanning cards? They can't be used without a merchant account and terminal. Despite being - on the face of it - a less secure option than chip and PIN contactless fraud only accounts for 0.2% of all card fraud in the UK.

Fibre optic

Obviously, your not up to date with Cyber Security. 'Contactless and CHIP & PIN" have both been cracked. The App used to scan 'contactless' cards is on the internet, in an .apk package.

If you don't believe ask people that have had their cards scanned - 'merchat account and terminals' are not needed to buy goods on the web, all 'contactless' cards are a huge security risk. Try it, the Apps are nn Google Market along with many others. Apk files are just cut-down Linux based application, learn CompTIA Linux+ , CompTia A+, CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA Network + and a bit of Python v2 or v3 - and you'll see a whole new ball game.

I learn continously from Cisco Talos Security Systems, and always updated via Twitter.

If you asked "What would be the point of scanning cards?" - on any security website these days, it's like leaving your front-door key in the door!

Going off Topic There Sorry Guys...

Joining in

I just read this and it made me smile because I wrote a blog article in 2016 called ‘what Pokemon GO taught me about life’. As a hypnotherapist it was a bit of a stretch but I think I pulled it off 😉

in case you’re interested 😉 I love that this article gets so geeky, I wonder if you’ve wrote about the recent Google AR directions that are now on maps? They’re pretty cool. I beta tested those. They’re fun!