1705: Pokémon Go

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Pokémon Go
Still waiting for the Pokémon Go update that lets you capture strangers' pets.
Title text: Still waiting for the Pokémon Go update that lets you capture strangers' pets.


Pokémon GO is an augmented reality (AR) smartphone game, where players walk around the real world, guided by a virtual map sprinkled with Pokémon, trying to find and capture these creatures from the first to fifth generations (i.e. Pokémon from the first to fifth series of games released), then leveling them up and/or evolving them, and using them in battle, similar to the classic Pokémon games for handheld consoles. These Pokémon are randomly placed around the world in the AR format so that they can only be seen through the phone. Randall is playing a prank on all players happening upon his real Pokémon figures as they are so consumed with this new game that they assume that they are from the game, not realizing that they should not be able to see them before they take out their phones, and then after doing this wondering why their phone is having trouble loading them.

Due to the popularity of the Pokémon franchise, after Pokémon GO's release in the United States on July 6, 2016, many fans of the series have been walking around with their smartphones out to capture and battle Pokémon. Some players are so eager to capture rare Pokémon (for example, Vaporeon) that they will leave their cars amid traffic with the engines running.

Randall jokes that he has replicated the AR properties of the Pokémon in the app (that is, when you encounter a Pokémon, it is a small computer-generated sprite placed over your phone's rear camera image that moves about your screen, giving the appearance of a "real" Pokémon in front of you). Randall's real life plastic models of various Pokémon have been constructed so they would seem to fit on a smartphone screen due to perspective, he has embedded a gyroscope in them so they wobble about their base giving them the appearance of basic computer-created movement, and as a final touch he has added a subtle underlighting which is also part of the game, and gives them a slightly computer-generated look compared to the real world around them. These effects combined fool avid Pokémon GO players into taking out their smartphone to capture the Pokémon for their game, when in fact it is just a toy sitting in front of them, and they should have known this as mentioned above. In this comic Randall displays the Pokémon called Squirtle which looks like a little turtle.

This comic is part of the My Hobby series. In this case, the hobby is pranking players of Pokémon GO by replicating the appearance of the augmented reality mechanic.

In the title text, Randall is still waiting for an update that allows capture of strangers' pets - besides the obvious, playing by the rules of Pokémon only wild (not any with an owner) Pokémon can be caught. However, in the Pokémon Colosseum games, through the use of a specialized device the player steals from the villains, the player can capture other trainers' Pokémon. This is also a callback to an earlier strip wherein Black Hat wishes for a Pokéball that works on strangers' pets (see last entry in 1086: Eyelash Wish Log).

Pokémon Go was again the topic of 2220: Imagine Going Back in Time more than 3 years later.


[Cueball walks in to the frame from the left. On the sidewalk in front of him is a small Pokémon figure looking like a standing turtle with a long squirrel like tail, known as Squirtle. Lines around it indicate that it is moving forth and back (wobbling), and circle lines below indicate that there is light below it. The exact position of the Pokémon and these lines around it change through all four images, but stays almost in the same position.]
[Cueball takes out his smart phone and points its camera at the Pokémon while looking at the screen.]
[Cueball shakes his smart phone violently up and down indicated with four to five gray drawings of his arm and phone below and above one solid black copy of the hand and phone. There are also two gray lines above and below the outer gray phones to indicate this shaking.]
[Cueball has lowered his smart phone and just stands there looking at the wobbling Pokémon.]
Cueball: ???
[Caption below the comic:]
My hobby: Building plastic Pokémon with subtle underlighting and a gyroscope to make them drift back and forth, then leaving them sitting around to mess with Pokémon Go players.

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I think the pets in title text are meant as real life pets such as dogs - otherwise "pokémon" would probably be used, not "pets". 07:52, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

I downloaded it and pointed at my girlfriend's ass. There was a Poliwrath sitting on it glaring at me.

Limited edition Randall Pokemon?!?!? I gotta catch them all! (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Davidy22 is a nofunallowed and deletes the barrier that separates nonsensical shitposting from relevant discussion. Therefore: SHOULD DAVIDY22 BE SENTENCED TO LIFE IN DEATH? The rules are EZ. Either vote "Yes!" to make Davidy22 have to catch all the pokemon therefore sacrificing his life, or vote "I'm Stupid" if you're an asshole and nobody likes you and you don't want to see him punished. PROTIP! Deleting this means you're buttmad and you're literally worse than hitler. #legit #truefacts #NickRidgway #EndicaVII #TheDreamKing #DreamWithin

"I'm Stupid". Davidy²² performs a valuable volunteer service around here and we should be glad to have him. Jkshapiro (talk) 01:52, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Boy, I didn't even leave for very long. Title was literally pointless, so I removed it. Avoid using headers like that, and I'm already playing pokemon go Davidy²²[talk] 03:18, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
I bet this person is mad that Pokemon GO is stealing potential sales from the game they totally discovered on accident, and definitely have no part in its development at all. 11:50, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Now I don't play the game myself but I have doubts that the images are placed over the front camera image. Shouldn't it say rear camera image? Or are the Pokémon displayed next to your face? Tharkon (talk) 16:04, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Just changed the word. Thanks for pointing it out. 04:54, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

Why isn't this explanation in the site's RSS feed? -- 22:29, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Attempting to access this page with its full URL (https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1705:_Pokémon_Go) returns "No input file specified.", I'm guessing because of the special character in the title. In order to prevent that, one has to remove the title from the URL (https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1705). 06:52, 26 September 2020 (UTC)

Hold the fuck up. Pokemon go was released almost 5 years ago?! I remember when it was released Beanie (talk) 10:34, 5 May 2021 (UTC)