Pokemon GO has changed the hearts and minds of it’s players with gamers and non-gamers alike going out into the community and exploring as a part of our daily lives. It’s great to still see all ages having fun and walking in the parks to find new Pokemon and hatch eggs.

There is one older gentleman in his 60’s that bikes the park everyday hunting Pokemon and over a year it’s amazing to see his health changes.  People I wouldn’t have noticed before or just walked on by now have something in common with, when you know they are near a Pokestop.

It’s easy to say hello or any good catches today to start up a conversation – from the 10 year olds who hold the gyms now and won’t let me have one, to the 60 year olds, this game really does span generations like no other. You really get a sense of it when you are walking around a park, talking and having fun that you are not a faceless person behind a screen.

And it all began one year ago, with Niantic this week starting an anniversary event.

Just a few weeks ago, the one-year anniversary celebration kicked off with a bang. You and millions of other Trainers went outside to battle in revamped Gyms and participate in Raid Battles with family and friends for the first time, but this was only the beginning of an action-packed couple of months. The celebration continues with a special Pikachu wearing a familiar hat appearing all over the world. From July 6 at 1:00 P.M. PDT to July 24 at 1:00 P.M. PDT, Pikachu discovered in the wild will be wearing Ash’s famous hat from the Pokémon animated series, so make sure you don’t miss out on your opportunity to catch one! You’ll also be able to stock up for Raid Battles and the events ahead with the special limited-time Anniversary Box, which will include Incubators, Max Revives, Ultra Balls, and Raid Passes at a discount in the in-game shop.

With the launch of the event comes a special item that you can buy, but it is perhaps slightly disappointing. The Anniversary Box is $10, and you get 6 incubators, 6 max revive, 6 ultra balls, and 2 special raid passes. It doesn’t seem worth it, and I feel it should be free –  after all we’ve given them over $1.3 billion in the last year, so the least they can do is offer up a few freebies!

That said, they may have more in mind for the anniversary but so far it’s a bust. I was hoping for a Halloween-like event with lots of free candy, double XP , plus throw a bunch of rare Pokemon around – anything that will bring that fun and excitement to being out. Seeing Pikachu in a hat is definitely cute, but it is far from my favorite Pokemon. I hope they correct this for future anniversaries.

That being said, congratulations to Niantic on a great year – among the good and the bad, you made an amazing game that will change how gaming is done!  Whether you love or hate the game, it has changed lives.

Heather "gentlestar" Barber

Staff Writer at MMO Central
A proud mother of her little xenomorph, located in Ohio, Heather likes playing MMO's for the sheer fun of it and disdains anything that feels like a second job. You can often find her stopping to admire the scenery, before jumping down the throat of whatever mob she's enjoying decimating next!

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