Arts & Entertainment

Mahopac Joins the Pokemon Go Craze

The Pokemon Go character Poliwag was seen at J.P. Cunningham’s in Mahopac. Credits: Faith Ann Butcher

MAHOPAC N.Y. — Move over Candy Crush, Pokémon Go is the now the hottest mobile game in U.S. history. The GPS-based augmented reality mobile game has taken the world by storm. And as we found out, there are numerous PokéStops in Mahopac to enhance the gaming experience.

Pokémon Go integrates the traditional Pokémon concept first launched in the 1990’s, in which trainers travel the world to capture the Pokémon--  also known as pocket monsters, such as Squirtle, Charmander, Pidgey and even Pikachu.

The game, which was developed by the company Niantic and published by the Pokémon Company, is relatively simple to play.  It uses a phone’s GPS to bring players to a PokéStop at a real-world location, where the player can collect Poké Balls which then can be used to capture your Pokémon.  The goal, as the slogan explains, is to “catch them all.”

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Pokémon Go also features “gyms” where players meet other players in real-time and have their Pokémon battle each other. The winner captures the other player’s Pokémon who they battled against.

An array of Pokemon stops have been reported around Mahopac. Police Chief Mike Cazzari said he was told the Columbus statue at Town Hall is one. Mahopac News production manager Faith Ann Butcher discovered one at J.P. Cunningham’s.  We have also received reports Pokemon Stops can be found at the Chamber Park on Route 6N, Bucci’s Deli, Cacciatore’s Pizza, Mahopac Marine and the library.

Police departments and other agencies have been warning players around the country of the dangers of playing the game. Since Pokémon Go requires players to look down at their screens, there have been numerous reports of injuries as people walk and play the game and even fall off their skateboards while playing with their heads down.

Cazzari said he has not received any reports of Pokemon Go-related accidents or any complaints from homeowners or business owners about trespassing players.

“No, we haven’t had any complaints,” the chief said, “but I know people are out there doing it. It’s important people know about; we don’t want anyone hit by a car.”

Cazzari said the game comes with a warning that players should “be conscious of your environment.”

“That’s the best advice,” he said.

Trooper Melissa McMorris, a spokesperson for New York State Police, offered players these tips:

•             Never trespass

•             Don’t play the game while driving.

•             Be aware of your surroundings (crossing streets, avoid walking into the streets and intersections)

•             Use common sense – play smart.

•             Be aware of the dangers and possible traps by criminals.

•             Don’t allow children to play alone without a supervised adult.

•             Teens should invite a friend so they are not playing alone.

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