I feel Adam Trumble’s article on Pokemon Go needs a “do over.”
It’s just an old fashion treasure hunt but on a modern day device, the cell phone. Adam Trumble suggested “read a book or go for a walk without phones” — how about when the Appeal gives clues for the Nevada Day Medallion? The Wine Walk does the same thing but with paper, the adult gets wine at each stop instead of a monster. What about Geo caching and using their phones to find coordinates and locations as well? Cell phones can be used as a tool. Kids are going to have their cell phones on them anyway, now they are using it in a different way in “augmented reality” and learning how to navigate a GPS. This game gets people outside, moving, socializing and discovering what there is to do in our area.
Pokemon Go has been able to achieve what parents and health enthusiasts have been trying to do for decades and especially since the cell phone was invented — get kids OUTSIDE! Although they do need a “smartphone” to play the game or app called “Pokemon Go.” The game has already mapped out locations (called “pokestops”) to go to and scoop up characters or monsters, the more you collect, the more points you get. There are three teams, Red for Valor, Blue is Mystic and Yellow is Instinct. Kids on the same team like to go out together to get more points. However, players also has certain levels they can reach on their own.
Kids and adults alike are going outside in the sunshine, walking, riding bikes and socializing. Families can do it together and grandparents can do it with their grandkids or with groups of friends.
Let’s point out some safety tips: Never go alone — games are more fun with a friend anyway. Obey all traffic signs and use the crosswalks properly. LOOK UP when crossing the street. Don’t go at night or into areas you’re not familiar with. Don’t go onto anyone’s private property, or cross any fences. If you go into a business, support the business and buy something. However, the app doesn’t require you to enter the building, so you just have to stand in front of it for a minute or two, getting what’s called a “pokeball.” Pokemon Go has certain fail safes imbedded in it. You can’t play it while driving or going more than 20 miles per hour. So watch out for slowing cars or cars that pull over to the side of the road.
This app has made good use of our local parks. You would be impressed with how many new parks Carson City has and the city does a great job maintaining them. Take a moment and enjoy the view!
For those worried about the digital footprint, the parent company, Niantic, which also owns Nintendo, collects the users Google email and profile information, which is less information than Facebook gathers.
If you have a child, grandchild or neighbor who might be playing the game, a perfect conversation opener is to ask them what team they are on. I think by the end of summer, youth in Carson will have been outside and exercised more than in the past, which is good. I also think our youth and adults will have one more thing in common to talk about over the dinner table. While it may not be perfect, and I’m no video game cheerleader, something that can get kids outside in the summer, exercising, learning a new skill, socializing in a positive way and discovering their hometown, I can “capture” that.
Bonnie Preston lives in Carson City.