Pokemon A Go Go!

You can’t tune in the world these days without coming across people talking about the game Pokemon Go. I am not a gamer but I do enjoy technology and have some desire to understand how things work.

My knowledge of the game is knowing that players download a free app to their smartphones and then go for a walk. As they stroll around their town creatures suddenly appear in front of a church, a school, a theater, your neighbor’s garage, etc. You somehow try to capture the creäture and if successful win points.

While the app/game is free you can somehow opt to purchase clues, hints, extra creatures, or whatever. This is how Nintendo, the games owner, added $7.5 billion to its corporate value in just a couple of weeks after the games release.

My son and grandson are my main sources of information about “PokeStops” (places where creatures are located) in Greenfield. Apparently there are several that appear in various parts of the cemetery so if you see a covey of kids walking around staring at their smartphones, or their navels, that’s what they might be doing.

The main question to me is, how or who chooses where these PokeStops will appear? Why, if it does, would one show up in the parking lot of the old Pamida store? Who made that happen?

A quick Google provided the most likely answer. There is a game called Ingress that belongs to Google. It is similar to Pokemon Go and uses a huge data base of locations called portals. Literally millions of these portals exists and more can be added by individual players. So, in theory, if I wanted to register with Ingress I could create a portal in front of my home on Worley Mill Rd.

Pokemon Go uses these existing portals as places to locate their creatures; so in effect, one game is running on the backbone of another. For rural and small town players there is one obvious problem. Fewer Impress players, fewer portals, fewer PokyStops.

I can see one immediate upside to this game, it does require that couch potato kids get off their butts and take a walk. The immediate downside is distracted kids have one more reason to walk in front of an oncoming semi without knowing what hit them. I wonder if you get bonus points for that?

Driving while looking for PokeyStops has also become a new and dangerous reality. Just this week I saw a video on the news of two cops standing next to their patrol car when another car slammed into theirs. You guessed it, the driver of the car was looking for Pokey thingies!

Oh, like most every new thing Pokemon Go comes with its own lingo. You can’t play the game if you can’t speak the language. So, here’s a glossary of common terms. Click HERE.

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