Saturday, July 16, 2016

FADS: The latest craze

I'm not a Pokémon GO enthusiast, but it seems that plenty of locals are playing the game, where participants try to "catch" virtual creatures using their smartphones. In technical terms the international craze is a "free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game."
Apparently your phone vibrates when you are near a Pokémon, and you have to throw virtual balls at the creature to catch it. The phone records the number and types of Pokémon (that's both the singular and plural form) you have captured, like Pikachu and Poliwag.
The Young Relative, who is not usually one to exaggerate, says he has been playing Pokémon GO "every single hour of every single day" since it was released July 6. He notes that the game decimates his phone's battery life but doesn't use up much data (though I did overhear a conversation between him and his father about a recent data overage charge).
A friend tells me that Longwood Gardens is "chock full of PokéStops and gyms!" I mentioned that to the Young Relative and quickly realized I had touched on a very sore spot as he covered his eyes with his hand. He was well aware of the wide variety of Pokémon to be found at Longwood, but alas the server that controls the whole game was down the entire time he was there on Saturday morning (hackers apparently were to blame).
Lynn Sinclair, owner of the Sunrise Café in downtown Kennett, reports that her café has been dubbed the "Big Chicken Gym" and she says players "have been buzzing around with their hand-held games."
On Friday evening, in the parking lot of the Jennersville Shopping Center, we heard some youths hollering, "We got it!" I was alarmed for a moment and then realized that, yes, they had found and captured a Pokémon.

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