Pokémon Go explained: Tips from a first-time player

For its 20th anniversary, the Pokémon media franchise released an augmented reality game, “Pokémon Go,” which makes use of the user’s GPS location and camera.

I went on my own adventure with this app – my first real encounter with the Pokémon franchise. To preface this, I was born in 1995, leaving me just young enough to have missed the sweet spot for the original Pokémon craze. The franchise was started the next year as a video game for Game Boy; my friends probably picked up the game in its second or third wave right around the start of the millennium. I have only younger sisters, leaving us outside of the original target demographic, and none of us were particularly drawn to Pokémon in its various forms – video game, anime television series, trading card game – so I only ever saw the game when I went to friends’ houses or at recess.

The app, available on iOS and Android, draws a varied audience. Walking around the streets of Manhattan, I ran into longtime fans of the Pokémon franchise as well as first-time players.