28 February, 2021

A Pied Piper Called Pikachu

By combining cuteness, nostalgia and Augmented Reality, Pokémon GO has taken over the world

This cute yellow character is the face of the franchise. The little ­‘electrocutioner’ is star trainer, Ash Ketchum’s best friend in the Anime.
A Pied Piper Called Pikachu

Finally, it’s a pleasant evening in Delhi after a summer that didn’t look like it would end. The rain has slowed to an agreeable drizzle; there is a cool breeze in the July air—India Gate hasn’t seen so many smiles in months. Anupriya Mathur, 26, saunters down Rajpath towards Rashtrapati Bhavan, with headphones on, peering into her smartphone. Dusk is creeping in and the crowd has thinned. Suddenly she tenses; she feels a presence near her.

The young graphic designer aims her phone camera at a bush under the jamun tree and spots her “stalker” sitting inn­ocently on a bench next to a young couple. She flicks a ball on her phone’s screen in one clean swipe towards the “monster”, pumps her fist triumphantly. “Yay!”—Rattata is in her “pocket” as far as Anupriya is concerned. The couple, not surprisingly, can’t make head or tail of her pursuit.

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