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Dreaming Out Loud: Pokemon Go — the video game bringing people together

by ANDREW ADAM | HUDSON HUB-TIMES EDITOR Published: August 3, 2016 1:00 AM

It finally happened.

There is suddenly something you can only do on a smart phone that makes me want one.

Pokemon Go.

It's only been out for a short time, but it's safe to say you have probably heard of it, or noticed one or more people walking around with their smart phone far in front of them in a searching-like motion.

Pokemon -- the game 20 years ago when I was in middle school which took America by storm -- has found a way to re-establish itself as a phenomenon.

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The goal is the same: You gotta catch 'em all, but now we aren't hovering under a lamp without a backlight playing our Game Boys.

Now gamers, former gamers and just curious people are walking the streets, going to parks, visiting museums and invading places they aren't supposed to in effort to seek out Pikachu, Charmander and Jigglypuff.

Have there been some bad side effects? Sure.

There's that old saying that some people can't chew bubble gum and walk at the same time. Replace chewing gum with Pokemon Go and you have a number of people nearly getting hit by cars.

And people were venturing into the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. -- one of the most solemn places dedicated to one of the darkest time in human history -- to seek out Pokemon instead of learning about and remembering the Nazi atrocities.

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Thankfully, places like that can ask to be removed from the game. And they should be.

But other museums are embracing the opportunity for new visitors. I saw the Cleveland History Museum actually tweet out a Pokemon hiding in one of their rooms.

AND I SAY go to the museum and seek it out, but also take in all of the cool pieces of history in there while you do it.

And for those people venturing to our local parks, use the Pokemon Go time to also get a good walk in. And while you're at it, take in some nature too.

On July 13, I was out running and saw at least 20 to 25 people playing Pokemon Go along the trail. And I love seeing people a good mile from their cars on the hunt.

That means they are getting a solid 2 miles of exercise. And if they were lucky, maybe they saw the same deer with its two fawns my buddy and I spotted while running.

Yes, real deer, not Stantler or Deerling or Sawsbuck. You couldn't catch them, but you could still take a picture and enjoy animals in their nature habitat.

And for those people saying, "This Pokemon Go thing has everyone addicted to staring at their phones instead of paying attention to what's important," take a breath.

There were plenty of phone games before this people were addicted to -- Candy Crush Saga, Angry Birds, Farmville, Puzzle & Dragons, etc.

But Pokemon Go is different, and it's a good different. I mentioned 20 to 25 people out searching for Pokemon on the trails. They were of different ages, both sexes, multiple nationalities. And they were talking with each other and working together.

Was it for a great cause? No, but people are actually talking to each. In person. Not over their phones or through text, or Snapchat, or Instagram or whatever.

It's actually causing people to make new acquaintances, maybe even new friends. And if a video game can do that, then hey, that's a great thing.

Email: aadam@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4175

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