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Posted July 18, 2016

One of the most striking things about the game is that it forces players to go outside and move around.  
You even have to walk to hatch eggs in the game. 
Some of you have been asking us - how does the game know where you are? 
And how does it decide what monsters you see? 

Brad Swearingen teaches game design at Wake Tech. A lot of his summer camp students are Pokemon Go players, and he is, too. He says the game works by using the GPS device in your smartphone to locate you on a real world map.
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<132004 As you're walking down the streets you can actually see the streets located on your phone and it show you where you're walking 132010>
Pokestops and gyms - the virtual places in the game - are map coordinates that match landmarks or places of interest, like this plaque at Nash Square.
When a Pokemon pops up near you, the game's servers use your phone's camera to superimpose the monster on your actual surroundings - a function known as augmented reality.
9th graders Desmond Leake and Meadow Allen say that's the best part.
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<131454 I think it's a really interesting game. It's a really great way to get people to go outside and explore their area around them – 131459>
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<131742 I think it's a really cool concept being able to have virtual and real life as one thing. I think it's really cool and I wish that more games would involve it. 131750 Meadow Allen>
Pokemon Go isn't the first augmented reality game, and it most certainly won't be the last, given its popularity. 
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<132245 Absolutely. This is huge. I read a statistic the other day that said Pokemon go has more users in one week than twitter has had since it's been around. 54.>
As for how the game decides which monsters to put into your augmented reality, even Swearingen can't say.
<132315 I have no idea. I know that I get a lot of certain ones which are kind of the lesser ones and then you really have to walk around for a long time before you get some of the nicer more powerful ones 2325>

One thing to keep in mind - is DATA. 
This game uses a lot of it, and you have to be connected to its servers to play. 
If you're not on Wifi or a data plan with a cap, augmented reality could mean an augmented bill next month!


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