“Hey Dad – Wanna go find some Pokémon Go with me?”
As a parent of teenagers and a toddler, that’s music to my ears! Most kids are far more advanced than me in Pokémon Go but it’s still fun to wander around our neighborhood and Rancho San Antonio in search of Pikachu and his friends. And we’re not alone. We’ve run into other dozens of kids, teenagers, and parents along the way, too.
So what is Pokémon Go? I think of it as a cross between a treasure hunt and capture the flag. First you search/capture Pokémon characters and then you bring them to a Pokémon Gym to compete against someone else’s Pokémon. The goal is to capture the Gym for your team (e.g. Team Yellow, Red, or Blue).
One of the positive side effects is that the game provides incentives for players to get out and explore! It tracks your distance and rewards you when you reach certain milestones. This could be the best fitness app disguised as a game!
Downtown Los Altos and Castro Street in Mountain View are also teeming with people playing Pokémon Go. It’s created as sense of commonality among strangers who are all playing the game simultaneously. Oftentimes, people will strike up a conversation just because they are playing at the same location.
With the help of another neighborhood Dad and his kids, I’m starting to get the hang of capturing Poke Gyms. Hopefully we will run into each other at one of the local Poke Stops or Poke Gyms!
By the way, here’s a link to a map that shows all the PokeStops and PokeGyms. www.pokemongomap.info.