By now you have to have seen, heard, or are even playing the latest craze, Pokémon Go. The game has taken the world by storm, and while there are reports that its popularity has peaked, the game is still incredibly prevalent.
If you haven’t heard about it, or are completely unaware of just how big it is, all you have to do is go to a park, mall, or take a walk around Frisco Square to see the groups of people of all ages taking pictures of what appears to be nothing… All while walking around looking down at their phones while occasionally looking back up and around again.
Pokemon Go is a simple free-to-play, location-based, augmented reality game designed by Niantic for Nintendo on iOS and Android devices. The game was released in selected countries in July 2016.
While playing the game, players use their mobile device’s GPS to locate, capture, battle, and train creatures called Pokémon. These creatures appear on the screen as if they were in the same real-world location as the player. The game also has in-app purchases for additional in-game items that can advance your character, train your Pokemon, and expand the world of the game.
The game was released with mixed reviews. Many people were upset at first that the game had too many errors when loading or while trying to download the app. However, those issues did not stop 75 million people from downloading the game and making it the hottest app/game of the year (so far).
But, not everyone is a fan. Many people think that the game has become too big and that people playing are causing traffic accidents or becoming a public irritation. Every game will have its critics, but some people have abused the freedom of the game. One should never play the game while driving, and should always respect other people’s property. It is after all, just a game.
The obvious aside, Pokémon Go has some great qualities. For instance, the game has encouraged more people to get outside walking, running, or getting together in groups as they hunt virtual creatures. In a generation known for spending too much time on the couch, or at the computer playing games, anything that gets them up and active is helpful.
Being able to walk around the neighborhood and catch a Pokemon at the pool, in the yard, or your friends yard is a modern take on a time when childhood needed little more than imagination as a reason to go outside and play.
In Frisco, we have our very own Pokemon hunting grounds. Frisco Square is a hot spot for catching rare Pokémon. It also offers the ability to train and fight your Pokémon at the gym and recharge on supplies.
City Hall has several “Pokéstops” to pick up some extra Poke Ball’s (this is the main device you use to catch Pokémon) and other goodies. The train station and the Frisco Senior Center have stops around them as well.
FC Dallas got involved by promoting a Pokémon ticket give-away a few games back. I’ve also seen groups gather for coffee at Nerdvana while discussing which route they were going to take for the days hunt.
With the extra foot traffic coming to Frisco Square, it looks like business there are reaping the benefits. The Frisco Consulting Group created a map of where Pokéstops are located and started to lure Pokemon to Frisco Square for everyone. Pizzeria Testa also put a map together of all 14 stops.
With the latest update, Niantic has increased security to promote safety with the game. Who knows how long it will last but the Summer of ’16 belongs to Pokémon.