Tuesday, 19 July 2016 10:40

Pokémon GONE – not a hope

By

Reports are emerging of increasing theft of smartphones from Pokémon GO players and selling of Pokémon accounts – a level 21 player's account can earn US$600.

According to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) and other sources, high-powered players can sell their accounts via eBay or Craigslist, offering casual players a head start with more Pokémon, PokéStops, and in-game resources.

According to the level 21 player, he had invested about 15 hours in collecting Pokémon and the US$600 was not too bad a return – better than he could make by driving for Uber.

Selling Pokémon accounts is not illegal – stealing (mugging) Pokémon players to get their phone is.

Three students were robbed by a 15-year-old wielding a knife yesterday. Then there was a report of “beacons” being used to lure Pokémoners to deserted spots. Add that to countless articles on stealing smartphones from users for what Pokémon and in-game items they contain makes this the new black.

One victim called 911 only to be told it was not an appropriate use of the emergency service.

Pokémon update

On 15 July, a quick search revealed 32 million articles about Pokémon. Today it is 345 million – a 10-fold increase.

Pokémon GO is a phenomenon – within days of release it had outranked Spotify, Netflix, Twitter, Pandora, Tinder, and more as the most used Android app. It was the most tweeted subject over the past week and eclipsed the search word "porn" within seven days of release.

Pokémon players are averaging 43 minutes per day — burning 1500-1800 calories and that is a great thing.

On the negative side depending if you are a user or a telco is the massive amount of data being consumed and the huge spike in power banks sold as GPS is a massive battery drain.

Speculation is largely on how long the fad will last with ill-informed commentators likening it to the Yo-Yo craze of the 70s.

Well, the good news is that it has marketing might behind it, and Pokémon Sun and Moon will be released in November. It apparently is “Pokémon’s take on Hawaii” and will also support at least nine languages, and the Chinese market is expected to be the biggest user. Crossover from Pokémon Go will be encouraged via something called a Pokémon Bank that allows transfer of Pokémon and resources to the new game.

One highly cited site is Bulbapedia – a wiki for Pokémon established in 2005 and now a repository for nearly 30,000 articles on Pokémon.


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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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