The Newest Craze …. Pokemon Go

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 3.03.13 PM I’ve been debating whether or not I should address this phenomenon in this blog. I decided not to mention it. Just a silly game (I thought).

And then, this morning I went to our local library. There is a big concrete area in front of our library, an area used for festivals, holiday decorations and concerts. As I walked through it, I was astounded to see many (MANY!!!) folks wandering around the area with their phones in front of their faces. What a sight. And so, for all of you (us) of-a-certain-age folks who don’t know what’s going on with all these zoned-out phone-holders, I thought I’d best sum it up here on this blog.

If you have anyone in your life under the age of 35, just go ahead and ask them. Chances are they are playing, and if not they will certainly know all about it.
It’s Pokemon Go, and it’s e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e.

What’s it all about? Well, it’s a game that you do out in the world (rather than on the couch). It’s kind of a combination GPS geo-caching thing / scavenger hunt / video game, all rolled into one.

If you’ve ever participated in geo-caching (THAT I’ve done!), you’ll find it is fun and strangely addicting. You learn of a ‘prize’ hidden at a coordinate, and you locate that spot with your phone’s gps. Geo-caching is like a treasure hunt, with a gps treasure-map.

Pokemon Go yanks this up a notch or two. Just as in geo-caching, you go out hunting for particular spots, but this time the prizes are virtual little Pokemon characters. They aren’t “really” there, of course, but if you get yourself to the appropriate coordinate, and look THROUGH the app on your phone, you’ll see the critter. And then you ‘catch’ him with a ball.

This screenshot shows you what a player sees. YOU …. the you without the app….you just see a tree. The player, looking THROUGH the app on their phone, sees this little orange fellow.

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Got it? There’s not much more. Except you want to catch as many as you can. The more you catch, the more you rise through the levels. After that it gets more complicated than I care to learn. (Something about fighting if you’re high enough in the game.)

So now you know. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll see them. Pokemon Go players are everywhere. In parks, downtown, most public areas. You’ll recognize them as they intently walk with their phones right in front of their faces. Sometimes they’re in a group. Surrounding….. nothing (to you). But they see a critter. Crazy, huh?

Although I can’t address this first hand, it seems all consuming. There have been reports of people being injured as they are completely distracted staring at their phones. Even while driving. Yes. You read that right. Even while driving.

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If you want to know more about this game just google “Pokemon Go”. You’ll learn everything you want to know.

And if you want to try it yourself, you can download it from the iTunes store. It’s free.

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12 thoughts on “The Newest Craze …. Pokemon Go

  1. My supervisor was viewing her salad at a business lunch with the app the other day. What? Sounds like a safety hazard to me, and intended for those with utterly nothing else to do. People say it’s a fitness craze, but I’m having a hard time buying it; people are just walking slowly and standing a lot. Thanks for filling in the details.

    • I agree with you ….. it’s a stretch to call this a fitness craze! I suppose if it gets people out of the house it’s better than nothing, but……….. I’m with you. I just see people walking slowly and staring at their phones. I wouldn’t count that as a workout!! πŸ™‚

  2. My daughters told me about this. It sounds a way for social media to get folks out in thr fresh air, but like all things proceed with caution i.e. look where you’re going, don’t drive while under the influence!

  3. Apparently, Kathy, here in Oz it is very popular, and not just with the under 35s! I can’t say I’m seeing evidence of that in my hometown; though, on the news can be seen lots of people doing as you’ve written.
    I’m a little on the fence, at the moment. For the kids who have been playing with their fingers only πŸ˜‰ I believe it would be marvellous for them to actually be introduced to their feet, by this game. However, there have been those, as you say, playing whilst at the wheel… As if we haven’t enough stupidoes who do this by texting and such, at the wheel.!
    Like everything; if used wisely there is always a benefit. If not, downfall – literally! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

    • Oh, Carolyn, I love your use of language. I laughed out loud when you suggested how lovely it would be for them to be “introduced to their feet” !!!
      Used wisely, I’m sure it can be fun. I really like geo-caching, and this seems like a version of that. Maybe someday I might just give it a try. πŸ™‚

  4. Al says:

    My daughter doesn’t go out. She hates setting foot outside as she is always nervous of people seeing her (even though I tell her no one will notice) She would rather just sit indoors. Until Pokemon GO came out. Now she is out all the time. They are even going on nature walks to try and find them. It is good to see my son and daughter go out together and do something. Even if it is trying to catch imaginary friends with imaginary balls lol.

    It is certainly making her fitter. πŸ™‚

    • Yes, Al, that is certainly the upside of this game! I was just talking with my daughter-in-law about this and she said the same thing. The same POSITIVE thing. That it is getting “inside” people to go out and about. πŸ™‚ Good for your daughter! Maybe she’ll learn to enjoy those nature walks!! πŸ™‚

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