Pokemon Go appeals to wide range of residents

Staff Writer

    People of all ages have been traveling between the real world and the virtual world with the help of the new smart phone app, Pokemon Go, which allows the user to find and capture virtual Pokemon in the real world.
    To play, players must first download the app on their phone and sign up for the game using a Google account or a Pokemon Trainer Club account. After signing up, players customize their own avatars and enter the Pokemon Go map — an animated area with roads and brightly-colored grass where landmarks in the real world double as Pokestops and Pokemon Gyms. Players can then catch virtual Pokemon with their phones while traveling on foot.
    But how are people reacting to Pokemon Go?
    Steve Edwards, a 75 year-old native of Decatur,  said the app is “very, very impressive,” and that while the app “approaches the idea of texting and driving, what with doing two things at once,” Pokemon Go still provides valuable exercise and “looks really neat” overall.
    Kevin Runyon, 30, of Decatur, not only praised the physical benefits of Pokemon Go, but also the app’s ability to bring people together. He called the app “miraculous” and described the streets of Decatur as “flooded” with people bonding over virtual monsters. “It’s a great way to meet people and get exercise,” said Runyon.
    When asked if he played Pokemon Go even during the night, Runyon said, “Sometimes. My son and I will walk around once the sun goes down. He loves it, too.”
    So Pokemon Go provides valuable exercise, brings strangers together and allows parents to bond with their children. Is there anything Pokemon Go can’t do?
    According to local resident, Gloria Arthur, there is. “There are some problems with Pokemon Go,” Arthur said, “such as servers crashing, people not paying attention to their surroundings and muggings taking place. Kids under 16 should definitely be with their parents when they use the app.”
    However, Edwards, Runyon and Arthur all agreed that Pokemon Go was a positive experience. “It’s leading us to a more social society,” said Arthur. “It’s something that appeals to all ages.”

Too busy to play Pokemon?

    NEW YORK (AP) — Too busy with your real life to play the hit augmented reality game ‘‘Pokemon Go?’’ For a price, entrepreneurs will play the game for you.
    Ads are being posted on Craigslist by people who say they will log on to your ‘‘Pokemon Go’’ account and effectively run up your score while you are stuck at work or sitting in class.
    Pokemon trainers Lewis Gutierrez and Jordan Clark, of New York City, say they have clients paying them $20 per hour for the service.
    Many of their customers want to compete in the game at a high level but don’t have time to roam the city playing the game all day.
    ‘‘Pokemon Go’’ has been a phenomenon since its release. The game involves going to real-world locations to hunt virtual characters.