Are you still refusing to take part in the Pokemon Go rage? Maybe you should reconsider. Joanna Stern, a personal technology columnist for The Wall Street Journal is just one of the latest fans, and she recently revealed why she thinks you ought to play too.

1. It's free.

Okay, so maybe you found out about it too late and now it's gone too mainstream to try. But look, you can try it out for free. Download the app from the iPhone or Android official stores and login with your Google credentials.

If you don't like the experience, simply delete the app from your phone. No harm, no foul.

2. It's augmented reality.

Unlike virtual reality games, Pokemon Go is all about the real world. You get to interact with a digital universe in your favorite local spot or around your city.

The app uses your smartphone's camera to overlay the digital creatures on your screen. It also taps into your GPS and position sensors to alert you when you're near a PokeStop or a Gym, which are usually really interesting historical landmarks. You can advance in the game and learn something new at the same time.

The sites could also be in or near small businesses holding promotions for Pokemon Go users, so be sure to look up from your screen every once in a while.

3. You'll get exercise.

At every PokeStop you can collect Poke Balls, which you use to catch pokemon characters like Charmander and Pikachu. Other assets to acquire include medicine to heal weakened Pokemon and eggs. Stern explains, "An egg will hatch into a Pokemon only if you walk."

To move up in the game you need to collect many Pokemon, train them, and evolve them. So eggs are very handy to help you reach that next level. The "catch" is that you might have to walk between one and six real miles to get it to hatch. "Welcome to the Pokemon weight-loss program," writes Stern.

4. You'll meet new people.

After you catch a good number of Pokemon, the next step is to train them at a gym and engage in battles with other Pokemon. Battles are one way to make your digital creatures grow stronger and evolve to the next level.

Since this is an AR game, it promotes interaction with other users. Stern writes, "I've met interesting people I otherwise would never have chatted with."

There has already been a romance match thanks to Pokemon Go. Who knows, maybe you could meet your next business partner or true love in one of such interactions?

5. It's the future.

Honestly though, the main reason you should familiarize with Pokemon Go is because it is the forerunner of augmented reality technology. Stern believes the Pokemon Go frenzy will die down soon, but the lessons we will learn from it will be invaluable.

"The game blends the world down in our smartphones with the one we see when we look up," she writes. "It's a more social kind of social media." 

Published on: Jul 14, 2016