Pokemon Go

The game that finally got the world excited about exercise

Kids and adults alike are starting to take walks, get out of the house and meet new people. Why? Because of Niantic’s new Pokemon game, “Pokemon Go,” a phone app that allows you to catch Pokemon in the real world.

Many buildings and local landmarks have been turned into virtual “Poke-stops,” places to refill on supplies such as pokeballs, eggs and potions. Other places are marked as gyms, where trainers can pit their pokemon against the pokemon of their opponents.

Players can also join one of three teams. The blue team, Team Mystic, the yellow team, Team Instinct and the red team, Team Valor.  When a player takes over a gym, they win it for their team and the gym is marked with the appropriate color on the map.

The game proved a helpful exercise tool, encouraging people to take walks and visit parks to catch Pokemon and visit poke-stops and gyms.

The game’s popularity blew up in a matter of days following the worldwide release in July, resulting in the apps jumping to the top of the App Store’s “Top Grossing” list within 24 hours.

The growth of the game’s popularity resulted in many local businesses exploiting nearby poke-stops to attract customers. Players are able to put a “lure module” down at any given poke stop, and that’s a common method businesses rely on to attract Pokemon go players.

Lure modules can also pose a threat to players. A series of armed robberies in the St. Louis and St. Charles counties of Missouri occurred July 10 in which criminals attached lure modules to empty poke-stops late at night to attract players. None of these robberies resulted in casualties, but police and Nintendo advise players to use caution when seeking out new poke-stops.

Despite minor problems, such as potential physical danger and buggy servers, the game became a huge hit within the first week of launch, changing how people interact with their phones and the world.