Don’t even try to deny it. Pokémon Go is pretty cool.
Pokémon Go landed in the U.S. last week. The premise is simple: search for little monsters and catch them.
Here’s the trick. These monsters actually live in a realm where cyberspace meets the physical. The only way you can see them is through the camera on your smartphone.
That’s right. Unbeknownst to us, many of these mystic creatures call Augusta home. From Thomson to Aiken, Clark’s Hill to Hephzibah — Pokémon have been causing chaos for years. It’s now our job to find them!
The Pokémon Go app is the portal. After downloading this app to your smartphone, you can see into the Pokémon world. (Make sure you use the official app.) Look up. Look down. Don’t see any? Try this — walk around.
Yes, that’s right. Pokémon Go requires participants to explore their communities in search of these little creatures. The GPS on your phone tracks your location. When you get close to a Pokémon, you’ll see them on the map.
Did I mention that you want to catch the Pokémon? A pokéball is used to capture and contain a Pokémon. Within the Pokémon Go app, the pokéball is thrown by swiping toward the Pokémon. (Don’t worry — It takes a little practice.)
I suspect that many Pokémon novices are still asking the following question — Why would someone want to walk around Augusta searching for cyber creatures just so you can flick a virtual red and white ball at them in order to capture them? Well, isn’t it obvious? How else are you going to get them to fight for you?
C’mon, didn’t you trade Pokémon cards growing up? Once you hit level 5, you can join a team and help battle for control of gyms (look for the gold and silver towers on the map). The gyms are the virtual locations where the Pokémon battle. If another team controls the gym, battle the other team’s Pokémon to take control. If your team controls the gym, add your Pokémon to make it harder to capture.
Another location that proves useful is the PokéStops. These locations provide supplies and other items that you will need on your Pokémon adventure. The PokéStops appears as blue squares on the map. Load up when you can.
From what I’ve seen online, bathrooms and baseball games are extremely popular locations to catch Pokémon. However, Pokémon also turn up in some very strange places. A quick search of Mashable shows Pokémon captured in locations ranging from the wing on an airplane in flight to wedding receptions to the front line in Mosul(!).
Many folks report Pokémon also showing up in some very inappropriate places. Please don’t trounce around graveyards and war memorials looking for Pokémon. Not cool. Also, do you really need to venture into adult establishments searching for Pikachu? That just gets a little weird.
Of course, no discussion about Pokémon Go would be complete without a mention of real life trolls. After only a week, too many reports exist of thieves using Pokémon Go to target and ambush victims. Stay safe — take a friend with you when searching.
But by all means, enjoy the adventure! No doubt you will meet all different kinds of people while playing. When you get to a PokéStop, just look around for other adventurers — honestly, they are not difficult to spot.
Capture a monster and make a new friend. What could be better?