Get Out Your Walking Shoes Portland! Pokémon Go is Taking the City by Storm.
In Pokémon Go, monsters roam the lands, and your job is to find, capture and train them. The game uses your phone’s GPS for your real-world location and an augmented reality interface bring up those cool-looking Pokémon on your screen, overlaid on top of what you see in front of you. And you—the digital you—can be customized with clothing, a faction (or “team” of players you can join) and other options. As you play, you level up through the game.
Explore Your City
Just last evening, I decided to visit Laurelhurst park in Southeast Portland. The park is a bit out of the way for me, and I resent to say it - but after living in Portland for four years the only reason I have just now decided to visit this beautiful place was because of Pokémon Go. The game rewards you with extra valuable items or rare Pokémon for visiting unique places such as parks or monuments. Oregon Live recently compiled a google map of where to catch rare Pokémon in Portland. Shamelessly, I have walked over 75 kilometers since the game’s release. My dog loves it, and it is a much better use of my time than watching TV.
Foraging for Eggs in the Wild
In Pokémon Go, you usually find “eggs” in the “wild” - usually by interacting with various locations around town known as PokéStops. There are three different types of eggs you can encounter: a 10km egg, a 5km egg and the common 2km egg. The eggs are labeled in distances because - as you may have guessed - you have to walk the specified distance to hatch the egg. Once hatched, the egg rewards you with extra points and often Pokémon that you would be unable to find if you were just walking around your neighborhood.
I chose to walk around and see places that I otherwise would have overlooked - like the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. Some users have resorted to lazier tactics however, such as attaching their phones to a dog or a roomba to gain the distance needed. (source: http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/Pokémon-go-hacks-how-to-hatch-egg)
I think the benefits of this new phenomenon far outway the downsides (mainly safety concerns). It forces you to be outside and walk around. It also forces you to be social. You can drop special items called “lure modules” at any PokéStop (most bars and parks are PokéStops) which attract Pokémon to that location. I have talked to countless people who I would have otherwise not talked to while trying to become a Pokémon Master.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start catching them!