They’re not lost, confused, or even distracted texters. They’re hunting tirelessly for virtual monsters.
With more and more Pokemon appearing around the globe each day, the hype behind the 2016 virtual reality game Pokemon Go still has loyal fans hooked.
“When the game came out on the phone app, everyone was like ‘You need to get this,'” player Dave Brewer said. “I said, ‘Yeah, that’s for me.’ I started day one.”
“I have three accounts, and they’re all level 40,” player Bert Vogler said. “My son and granddaughter were playing it, and they got me started.” *
“I’ve played Pokemon Go for a long time now,” player Robert Long said.
“I have a 5-year-old son now, and he plays really hard too, so he’s kind of my main reason for getting into it,” player Megan Dustin said.
“My son actually started me on this,” player Donna Rotramel said. “And then he quit and now I’m playing both my account and his account.”
The game gives players the chance to explore new places, make new friends, and get moving.
“Like this park,” Brewer said. “I wouldn’t really come here. It’s not my scene. But since I play Pokemon Go, I come here because there’s lots of stops I can do.”
“I like it because I get to get out and exercise and meet new people,” Rotramel said.
“It’s a way to get out of the house with the kids and walk around,” Fletcher said.
So how does it work? As you search for Pokemon at home or on the go, your smartphone vibrates to let you know when a Pokemon is close by. Once you spot the virtual critter, it’s time to catch it.
“The first ones are always the worst,” Brewer said. “Once you start catching a few, it gets easier.”
First, take aim on your phone’s touch screen. Next, toss a Pokeball to capture the Pokemon and register it to your Pokedeck.
You can also look for Pokestops–often set at parks, museums, shops, and local neighborhoods.
“So if there’s one you really want to get, like, for example, this dude, you can click on the little feet down here and it shows you which Pokestop it’s at,” Brewer said.
Far from your typical smartphone game, not only does Pokemon Go keep you moving, but it also helps you make new friends.
“We have 4,800 people on the Facebook page,” Rotramel said. “We have 4,300 people on the Discord. Our community is really great with not leaving people out.”
After its release in 2016, Pokemon Go proved its instant popularity by reaching $1 billion in revenue faster than any other mobile game.
“It’s just going to keep evolving, getting bigger and bigger,” Dustin said. “The game has already changed so much.”
“Every couple months they add new features and new things, and it makes it fresh again,” Brewer said. “We host community events. We have meetup spots.”
“It’s a great way to get so many different generations together doing the same thing,” Dustin said.
Two years later, players in the Pikes Peak region are still putting Pikachu on a pedestal.
“It’s about the closest thing we can get to world peace,” Fletcher said. “Look at all these people getting along together playing Pokemon Go.”