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BY AKIVA PREMACHANDRA

Virtual and augmented reality has opened so many doors that allow gamers to immerse themselves in a world away from the norm, a safe haven for most that allows them to explore, conquer, and thrive in worlds unlike our own.

One of my favorite franchise of games growing up was Pokémon. I was able to dive into a world of fantasy that was beyond what I could imagine as a 5 year old and to see that franchise come to life through augmented reality in the form of Pokémon GO threw me back into the wonder I had as a child when exploring the world of Pokémon.

Being able to interact with these creatures and see them in our world was so exciting; I found myself exploring all of Dubai just to try and Catch ‘Em All! The game also brought forward an entirely new community in the UAE allowing you to meet new people and build new friendships, all through a game that has captured the hearts of many generations of gamers.

Many small businesses have thrived through Pokémon GO, having turned their locations into Pokéstops and Pokémon Gyms which brought in customers and in turn brought in revenue. On December 11th 2016 Starbucks partnered with the game to transform 7,800 stores into Pokéstops and Gyms giving more players the opportunity to play and engage with their local communities.

The brilliance of using augmented reality to bring a fantasy world into ours, giving us a new way to explore our surroundings is an amazing leap forward for everyone from the casual gamer to the hardcore leveling warriors, as well as for businesses.

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