Nick Johnson doesn’t look like your average everyday nerd. That’s because he isn’t. He is the world’s first Pokemaster of Pokemon Go though. He caught all 142 Pokemon in the USA by travelling across the NYC metro area. He has been lauded by fans and gamers alike. Though he has received his fair share of criticism and hate. People have said he cheated or modified the code or used a bot. None of the claims have been proved however.
Nick Johnson is Head of Platform at Applico. It’s a new startup that designs apps for iOS and Android and is a “platform business model innovation”. It was founded in 2009 and has just over 75 employees. Now you’d think it’s a lot of hard work. But, even working at this job, Nick found time to play. By the time a week and a half had passed, he had 135 Pokemon. He figured then, that he’d go all the way. He captured his last Pokemon on July 21st after midnight in New York’s Central Park.
Nick walked an average of 8 miles a day when he was at his peak. This led to him walking a total of 125 miles. He joked that he wore “very comfortable walking shoes”. He went the extra mile, literally and spent money on the app. That led to him “catching them all” at least in America. Those that made fun of him for having no social life are wrong too. In fact he’d go out hunting with his girlfriend. Apparently his girlfriend made him carry her phone around too. Towards the end he did get a little obsessive. He’d spend six to eight hours walking around at night. Sometimes he’d stay up til 4 or 5 in the morning.
The Pokemaster also attributes his success to socializing and working together with other players. He speaks fondly of the fun he had interacting with them. He recommends staying in touch with them and getting tips on where to find Pokemon (you’ll teach me and I’ll teach you!). It’s perhaps the one genuinely good thing to come out of the game. Ironically it took augmented reality for people to get in touch with actual reality.
Nick has been publicized widely for his amazing feat but he hasn’t received recognition from Nintendo or Niantic. He has however, received an offer from Marriot Rewards. The company will sponsor him to fly all over the world to complete his collection. So far 9 Pokemon have eluded him. They are region specific Pokemon found only in Europe, Australia and Asia. They are, Mr. Mime, Farfetch’d and Kangaskhan. That’ll bring his collection to 145. The rest are legendary Pokemon (save one) which haven’t been seen in the app yet. They are included in the app’s code though so they might show up in an update. They are, Articuno, Moltres and Zapdos (the legendary birds), Ditto (shapeshifter, not legendary), and Mew (ancient Pokemon) and Mewtwo (clone of Mew).
Nick Johson says his childhood dreams of becoming a Pokemon master have come true. This writer hopes he’s right.