Gotta Catch ‘Em All!

By Racine Guajardopokemon-pic

The Pokémon Go App is the latest craze! The game app first launched on July 6 in the app store for Australia, New Zealand and the United States. On July 13, it was made available in Germany, and on July 14, it was available in the UK. In just one week of the launch date, the Pokémon app has become the most successful mobile app in history.

Pokémon originally started as a game for Nintendo in 1996, and the Pokémon trading cards started in October of 1996. Of course with technology constantly evolving, it was destined to create this app.

Many people love it, hate it, or have found it as a bonding experience between friends, family, and even co-workers. The game allows people to gather in outdoor areas and opens communication between each other.

It seems like the most people who were in the age group of 20 to 30 years old found the app to be the most enjoyable, but community members of all ages are enjoying the app.

10-year-old Andrew Larson says, “It’s a new adventure for everyone!”

Andrew is right because many are even expressing how the app is getting them to adventure out and explore their local community.

Mother of Andrew Larson, Jennifer, says “Pokémon Go is a great fun way to interact and get outside. I like that the game teaches a person to be cautious of their surroundings. Which means more eyes are on alert. Never a bad idea! I also enjoy connecting with my 10 year old, while on the hunt for more Pokémon.”

“Pokémon go has opened doors that hasn’t been opened up in years…it’s making people more active and it’s bring people together,” said Gemayal Adams, 32 years old.

“This game makes me want to go out more than my friends do,” said Raylene Arcides, 21.

“This is how I see it. We see kids inside sitting in front of TV all day with video games. Kids don’t go out like we used to back then. Electronics (which I love) have taken over. I think it’s pretty cool [Pokémon Go] has people going outside and walking looking for those dang things, if it helps with obesity and make kids healthy then so be it,” said Katrina Casas, 27 years old.

Many residents have even admitted they are out exercising more because of the app.

“I exercise more in one day than I have in years,” said Adrian Guajardo, 27 years old.

Charles Sapalasan, 22, agreed by saying, “Pokémon Go has got me up on my feet to get some exercise and meet some real friendly people.”

Adriana Sepulveda, 37, doesn’t have the app but she’s noticed that more people are outside. “There’s a lot more people out and they all look lost running around.”

Josie Ma, 16, agreed it was a great app but expressed her regret for picking the wrong team. “I chose the yellow team (Instinct) and it’s the worst team out of the three, worst decision I have made. This app is great though because it lets a lot of people get to walk around and exercise.”

The app has received positive feedback overall, but there are still many residents who aren’t too thrilled about it.

Stephanie Denise, 46, described the app as “Ridiculous!”

Kandra Shinedling agreed by saying, “I say it’s a dumb app! I never got into Pokémon and don’t care for it. People waste more time on it when they could be exercising and doing something good with themselves instead of trying to catch something that’s not even there. Plus, it’s just another way for the government to keep a tag on you.”

But the app is still enjoyable for many and said to be bringing families, friends, and community members together.

Adriana Flores, 32, said, “I may look stupid playing but at least I’m having fun!”

“At first I thought how stupid just another trend…. but honestly I have an 11-year-old daughter and quite frankly it’s cool to spend time with her on some kind of common ground. Seriously I’m schooling her on something she’s interested,” said local resident Eddie Medina, 29 years old.

“Just playing this game for a few days, I gained two new friends at work and I also find myself to be more active,” said Mathew Sanchez, 27.

Robert Mejia, 28, agreed by saying that he’s met a lot of people and has even met girls through the app!

Felicia Weese, 30, hunts for Pokémon with her husband and described her most recent encounter in the community: “My husband and I drove to Downtown Riverside to check out all the Poke stops and there was upwards of 100 people there… At 11 at night! It was funny to see everyone walking around following their phones to try to get the best Pokémon. It reminded me a lot of zombie movies the way people were slowly moving in herds.”

Many residents have found the game to be so addicting, that they are driving around trying to catch these Pokémon! However, the game has also become a hazard, with one report of a car accident in New York due to the person playing the game while driving. There has also been another report of thieves using the app to find and rob players. One report was made but was not verified of a woman who found a dead body while playing the app.

Therefore, Police offered the following advice to Pokémon Go players:

  • Don’t play the game while driving a car or bicycle.
  • Don’t trespass on private property just to “catch” a Pokémon.
  • Avoid staring down at your phone and be aware of hazards like roadways, drop-offs and waterways.
  • Be cautious of who you share your location with.
  • Don’t travel alone.

For those who enjoy, stay safe and have fun!