UNION COUNTY, NJ - “Pokémon Go” a game released last week to the U.S. by Nintendo has created a new craze. The game, while being very interactive, has people young and old walking around trying to catch Pokémon of various types in all kinds of areas.
Players are being spotted walking down streets looking for “Pokéstops” in places such as banks, post offices, and local parks all to catch these creatures. The game compels players to keep an eye on their phones as they walk along the street.
Locally, people have been all over Roselle, Elizabeth, Linden and Union. In some cases parents have even been reported driving their kids around to help catch the little monsters.
On Wednesday evening at 9p.m in Warinanco Park, one spot had over 100 people and cars fighting for parking to get in to the water park area to play the game. Groups have also gathered at Kean University in Union, Nomahegan Park in Cranford, and even the Gazebo in Roselle Park.
1000 Degrees Pizza in Linden’s Aviation Plaza is another big Pokéstop with at least 8 and one “special” Pokémon showing up when you pull up to the doors. The owner, Andrew Bani said that he had purchased a “Lure” from the game which is why it’s now a hot spot for players. “I like the game,” said Bani. “It’s a good way to get people up and out and on the go.”
There have been some downsides to the game such as a report in Wyoming where a woman while trying to find a “water Pokémon” found a man's body in a river. Players being robbed, sprained ankles from tripping and people walking into trees have been reported.
The game has also enticed people to post pictures of themselves playing the game in different situations on social media. The makers of the game warn everyone not to drive or ride bicycles while playing the game.
More about the game: Pokémon Go is a location-based augmented reality game for iOS and Android smartphone users. It is available as a free download from the Apple Store and Google Play (in-app purchases are available for those looking for additional gameplay items). The game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual Pokémon – such as Pikachu, Blastoise, Charizard and slew of hundreds of others – who ‘appear’ throughout the real world.
Upon downloading the app, users create a personalized avatar that is then displayed at the player’s current location along with a map of the player’s immediate surrounding; the app runs off the phone’s GPS, camera and clock.
Through the use of augmented reality, Pokémon will randomly appear as if they've been spotted in the real world. The game presents a map powered by GPS, using real-world locations to spot Pokémon and collect items. When a Pokémon is located, the game opens up your smartphone's camera, giving you a view of Pokémon in the real world.