If you have gone out in public recently, you have most likely noticed the amount of people walking around with their phone in hand. While this behavior is fairly normal, the reason is new. Nintendo’s release of Pokémon Go has the world going crazy! In just a few weeks, more than 8 million people worldwide have downloaded the app and are active users.

IMG_9580For those of you asking, “What is Pokémon Go?”, it is truly quite simple. Nintendo worked to create an app based off of your location. Pokémon Go uses the GPS and clock in smart phones to update the system as a player moves. The more a player walks and the more places they visit, the more chances they have to catch a Pokémon. In the original Pokémon game, Nintendo describes Pokémon as “creatures of all shapes and sizes that live in the wiPokemon Bristol Herald Courier 1ld or alongside humans.” In Pokémon Go, Pokémon creatures are placed near the player and shown through the camera screen. For example, today while walking into work I caught three different Pokémon. The goal is to “catch ‘em all”!

Also in the game are PokeStops and Gyms. PokeStops are local landmarks that give users a chance to collect more Poke balls, Potions and rare Pokémon. Gyms are also located at local landmarks and relate back to the original Pokémon game. Once a player reaches level five, they can play at the Gyms. The Gyms are a form of battlegrounds between the three teams: Instinct (Yellow), Mystic (Blue) and Valor (Red). At the gyms, players can send out their strongest Pokémon to battle other members’ Pokémon in order to gain control of the gym.

Nintendo’s game has created such a stir and has, thus far, reaped great rewards such as traveling and social atmosphere.

Travel

IMG_9605In order to catch the various Pokémon, a player must walk around to find them. This feature of the game has created movement from young pre-teens to middle aged adults. It has also sent people out in their own towns to discover locations and attractions they may not have known about. In the downtown Bristol area there are PokeStops, Gyms and little critters (as I like to call them) all around. Places such as Burger Bar, Southern Churn, Country Music Mural and more are stops all Poke-Goers enjoy. Along with downtown Bristol, the surrounding areas have Gyms, PokeStops and more. The key is discovering them and catching Pokémon on the way!

The PokeStops and Gyms through the downtown area are placed at some of the most well-known locations in Bristol. Burger Bar is a highly populated, great hamburger joint. Burger Bar is conveniently located near another PokeStop, Southern Churn. Southern Churn offers a wide variety of candies, homemade ice cream and fudge. The Paramount Theater on State Street is one of the oldest buildings still being used. One of the newest editions to Bristol is the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. The museum features the original Bristol sessions and gives guests a look into why Bristol was the true Birthplace of Country Music.

Social AtmospherePokemon Bristol CVB 2

Pokemon Bristol Herald Courier 2Poke-Goers unite! With the wide group interested in playing Pokémon Go, there are an unlimited amount of possibilities to make friends. What is great about Pokémon Go is that teenagers, college students, adults, parents with children and more play! With Pokémon Go being free, going out with friends (old or new) or walking through town with the family does not have to be an expensive endeavor. This means there is more money for ice cream or shows! The evenings are particularly full of Pokémon Go activities, especially in the downtown area. At any given time there could be 20 or more fellow Poke-Goers around. A simply conversation about Pokémon could lead to a lifelong friendship!

 

Be Safe

With the aIMG_9604mount of rave Pokémon Go is getting, there are many people out wandering the streets. Whether you play or not it is important to remember these safety tips:

  1. Look for pedestrians while driving
  2. Do not drive and Poke-Go
  3. Always be aware of your surroundings (especially in parts of town or terrain that is unfamiliar)
  4. Always look both ways before crossing the streets
  5. Be cautious of how much personal information you share with strangers

The Pokémon Go craze is reeling everyone in. Have fun and catch ‘em all!