By Lizzie Laws
Are you wondering why you see adults wandering around your street, a teenager run around your office building in the middle of the day staring into his phone while suddenly changing directions or a co-worker walk aimlessly into a closed meeting? Pokemon GO may soon surpass Twitter’s online traffic, but what exactly is this sensation taking the world by storm?
What is Pokemon GO?
Pokemon GO is an augmented reality game for iPhones and Android phones that blends the real and digital worlds together. Kind of like a reboot of the geocaching craze a couple of decades ago, players create an avatar of themselves and try to collect virtual Pokemon using real time GPS on your smartphone.
You may realize that you need more items on your journey like potions or pokeballs; in that case stop by Pokestops that are typically randomly generated landmarks to receive an assortment of items to help you along in your quest. Once you have plenty of Pokemon and reach level 5, you can stop at Pokemon Gyms to battle other trainers for one of the three teams you can choose to be on: Team Mystic, Team Valor or Team Instinct. Just as Ash Ketchum, you too can strive to become a Pokemon Master and become the very best, like no one ever was.
Safety tips for safe playing:
- Be aware of your surroundings — don’t venture in the virtual world where you wouldn’t in the real world.
- Let others know of your plans and your whereabouts, when you plan to return and with whom you’re venturing.
- Use the buddy system when venturing into unfamiliar areas or venturing outside at night.
- Don’t venture into private properties no matter if you see a Charizard there. Don’t worry you can find him again!
- Walk, don’t run.
- Understand that some people unfamiliar with the app may believe you’re a suspicious person.
- Watch your battery life.
- Look up when walking. It’s easy to be distracted by a Dragonite that is always “3 steps” away and doesn’t change no matter what direction you seem to go.
- Stop walking to catch them — you’ll probably find it easier.
- NEVER play when operating a motor vehicle, skates, skateboard, hoverboard, bicycle or other means of travel.
- Be sure to follow your employer’s mobile use policy should you decide to download on a corporate device and/or play at work.
- Know and abide by park and/or facility hours – Pokemon Masters need sleep too, you know.
- Pikachu isn’t enrolled in this class or our payroll. Play at appropriate times.
- It’s just a game, and it shouldn’t threaten your real-life or the safety of those around you.