The “Pokémon Go” craze has taken the world by storm. Everywhere you go, people are playing, or at least talking about the game. Families with small children are playing. Adults are playing. Everyone in between is playing as well.
Though I do not play, as a mom, I wanted to know what my son was talking about. I did some research and downloaded the app for a quick introductory session. If you are not a player, but want to know what the fuss is all about, here are the basics.
When downloading the game, users are asked to create a profile, including a user name and an avatar that can be designed in the colors of your choice. Once that is set, there is a brief training on how to “catch” the Pokémon creatures.
The game operates on GPS, pinpointing the user’s location and surrounding area. Using the GPS information, users are sent to find Pokémon in their neighborhood and surrounding area.
The locations of the Pokémon are based on previous pictures that have been posted to social media and other locations on the internet based on the geo-caching tags imbedded in the photo. The photo is then altered, adding the digital image of the Pokémon to it.
When the user arrives at the coordinates of the original picture, they are able to “capture” the Pokémon.
Many public areas such as parks, downtown, and the Mississippi riverfront have seen an increase in foot traffic, based on the number of pictures that have been posted in those locations.
The Muscatine Police Department has issued the following statement:
Since the recent “Pokémon Go” craze the Police Department had a wild Clefairy and Spearow show up at the Station.
When playing “Pokémon GO,” remember these safety tips:
1.) Be alert at all times. Stay aware of your surroundings. Be sure not to walk into busy streets or oncoming traffic. Go with a friend/family member and be sure to tell someone where you are going.
2.) Avoid moving while concentrating on your phone. Let the app run in your phone’s background while walking. It will buzz when a Pokémon is near. Stop, catch your Pokémon and move on. Most of Pokémon GO can safely run in your phone’s background, or at least with little attention being paid to it. Walking for eggs and experience you can do without looking at the screen. Don’t be “that person” who walks into a tree or trips and falls while looking at your screen.
3.) You see something rustling grass around the corner, you nag another Doduo, you see some more, you keep moving, and all of a sudden you’re a mile away from home. Weather in July can get extreme. Be sure to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen.
4.) Pokestops and gyms show up in all sorts of places, and not all of them are open to the public. Obey trespassing laws and use common sense. Don’t wander into random buildings or onto private property. Nearly everything you need to do in this game you can do from the sidewalk.
5.) Don’t play while driving! Pay attention to the road and obey all traffic laws.
Have fun, be safe and CATCH EM ALL!