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pokewalker methods

in 2009, pokemon heartgold and soulsilver were initially released. these games came with a little pedometer toy, dubbed the pokewalker, that allowed the player to take their pokemon with them on walks in real life via infrared connection.

every 20 steps, the player would earn a 'watt', which worked as a sort of currency for unlocking routes, catching pokemon, or dowsing for items. this had the expected conclusion of people trying to 'cheat' their way to watt profits.

so, for a time, people would create their own basic rube goldberg machine to generate watts automatically. these constructions ranged from rudimentary to practical to advanced to brain genius.

this page holds some of my favorite "pokewalker walkers".

the rudimentary

the most prominent auto-walkers exploit vibration as a way to track step count.

for example,

'auto poke walker.mpg' and its sequel, 'auto poke-walker v2.mpg' seems to use an old computer fan and plastic strip supported against an old filing cabinet in order to generate rhythmic vibration. in version 2, the engineer has created a more muffled vibratory machine.

the video 'how to cheat the pokewalker' and its prequel show a more advanced setup that incorporates an old bicycle wheel, an electric fan, and engineered paper flaps to catch the air. the pokewalkers are snug in the framework of the wheel.

in 'the ULTIMATE pokewalker cheat in 4 simple steps! REALLY works!', a preteen puts their pokewalker onto their flip phone and calls it from their house phone to make it vibrate. (i only feel comfortable sharing this one since it's so old and it's unlikely this person still lives in the house they typed the number for...)

"Pokewalker cheat easy steps and watts opens with a shot of a living room with a tv showing footage of Super Smash Brothers Brawl for the wii. as we watch, the cameraperson makes a strange setup with their gamecube and wii controllers and places the pokewalker in between like a robotic egg in a robotic nest. it immediately starts vibrating loudly and jarringly. it works! i guess.

the advanced methods

in 'pokewalker cheat (no effort)', the cameraperson puts their poliwag-bearing pokewalker next to a plasma lamp. my working theory as to why this works is that the infrared is getting a little scrombled by the radio frequencies powering the lamp. i don't know if i'd recommend this method. but it "works" efficiently.

in 'Easiest PokeWalker Cheating Machine - Just String and Tape', the classic fan-and-string setup is refined using loops of tape to keep the pokewalker from flying off into the sky and also allowing it to go up and down smoothly. dont worry about aku in the background, this ain't about him.

'Cheatin Pokewalker' uses an automatic fan to lightly beat against the pokewalker to generate vibration. i will say i never thought to use one of these. i am kind of impressed. but also kind of worried about the durability of the plastic on the pokewalker...!

the funny

"How I cheat the pokewalker (improved method)" is one of the funniest ones. in this video, the pokewalker is snapped into place onto the back of a thomas the train engine toy, which is lifted upward slightly so it does not travel down its plastic track. it then vibrates rapidly and loudly. to top it off, the cameraperson places it under a big box to muffle the noise (slightly). this one goes here because it's so novel, so strange, so resourceful, and so funny.

'how to cheat your pokewalker' features a cute german shepherd mix. this one is funny to me purely because of the phrasing of "the dog automatically goes to the ball" and "just keep throwing the ball over and over". at least the dog is being entertained. i also really love how the cameraperson advertises their pokemon sprite edits at the end. very fun capsule in time.

'automatic pokewalker works 100%' is mostly funny to me because of how tinny the audio is and how pixellated the video is. the setup is so simple, and not entirely resourceful, but i really appreciate seeing a kid having fun LOL