The augmented reality game, Pokémon GO, has had its fundamental elements altered in order to accommodate its users amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. As the crises worsens, social distancing is encouraged, our very own MBO cinema is adopting this precaution in order to curb the spreading of COVID-19. According to Polygon, Pokémon GO, a mobile game that took the world by storm when it came out in 2016, has been adjusted to include the social distancing factor.
Users of the game can now play from the comforts of their home. The premises of the game is simple, you have to go out and search for Pokémon characters that will appear on the map, you will need to throw Poké balls to catch them. The objective is to catch as many characters as possible. Essentially, it is done with friends and is seen as as a way to socialise with fellow Pokémon enthusiasts. Spokespeople from Niantic, the creator of the game, had said in a statement that they are,
“prioritizing updates to Pokémon GO features and experiences that can be enjoyed in individual settings.”
Pokémon GO has gone through some major changes such as characters appearing in closer proximity than before. Users do not need to walk around as much as they used to before. Incense packs which are used to attract Pokémon characters are being sold with a discount of 99%. More gifts will be released via PokéStops and according to Niantic, eggs will be able to hatch twice as fast. Previously 1 incense pack was being sold for 30 Poké coins and now with the introduction of these new alterations, 30 incense packs are being sold for one Poké coin as a “one time only deal.”
This comes at an important time where people all over the world are encouraged to stay home and only go out if necessary and to avoid crowded places altogether. The health ministry has advised people to maintain a social distance of at least one meter and practice good hygiene such as washing hands regularly, to stop the rapid spreading of COVID-19.