Fans of the still-popular anime series Pokemon and its incarnations will no doubt be flocking to Google as the site has posted its latest April Fool’s prank. Those who have always wanted to enter the world of Pokemon now have their chance; Google has released a new job ad on YouTube seeking those looking to call themselves a Pokemon master.
Fans will have the chance to find and capture the “wild” animated beasts, thanks to a new mini-game released in an updated version of Google Maps. There have been 150 Pokemon released around the world, and if you have ever wanted an opportunity to call yourself a master of these creatures, now is the chance. Time is brief, however, so Kotaku is also getting in on the act by offering players hints and clues as to where the beasts might be hiding.
Since its inception 17 years ago, Pokemon has far outstripped its original 150 monsters. It has demonstrated remarkable staying power, with countless card games, new games for Nintendo DS handheld consoles and even stuffed animals. It is now the second most popular video game series worldwide, behind Nintendo’s own Super Mario series of games.
Given fans have been clamoring for the opportunity for years to enjoy the thrill of the chase on tablets and smartphones, only to have Nintendo refuse to budge and allow them that chance, Google’s April Fool’s prank and “job challenge” will no doubt have thousands striving to become the Pokemon master of their dreams.
According to statistics gathered by French newspaper Le Monde, the franchise has generated over $30 billion in revenue over the last decade, and does not appear to be slowing down in the slightest. Since March 2013, the franchise has even included a Pokemon theme park in Nagoya, Japan. For fans, the latest in a long line of April Fool’s Day pranks by Google may be the closest they will get to experiencing the real thrill of the chase that they have enjoyed for years in the cartoon series and the video games.
Before people begin thinking that Google is looking for the right person with a stacked Pokedex, it is important to realize this is April Fool’s Day. Alexa.org, a popular site for finding information about any site on the internet today, currently ranks the Google Maps for Pokemon at number 11 out of a possible 20 in its list of “What’s Hot.”
It is perhaps the first time where the legendary animated figure has entered into the real world. Certainly, there are educational possibilities for Google’s decision to release 150 Pokemon into the wild. Children and adults alike will have the opportunity to learn how to use a map well, to search where certain locations are, and other navigational techniques. People will no doubt embrace the opportunity to chase some of their favorite cartoon characters from the world of Pokemon throughout Google Maps.
While the chance to become a Pokemon master will appeal to Pokemon fans of all ages, Google’s latest prank will no doubt drive further traffic to its already popular maps application. With Pokemon continuing to be a popular series for fans of all ages, no doubt there will be many trying to find the 150 Pokemon that have been released. Who will be the next Pokemon master? It will be interesting to see who will catch them all, either on Android or on iPhone.
By Christina St-Jean