Turn on the news or the radio in the last week and there has probably been a story about Pokémon Go; particularly, a story about someone wandering into the woods and finding something unsavory or a couple who took a kayak to the middle of a lake just for Pokémon.

Ash Ketchum and his loyal Pikachu from the show.

Let’s start at the beginning and work our way to adventures in the woods.

For those not familiar Pokémon is a franchise of video games distributed by Nintendo. In the earliest versions, the game was played with cards and later moved to the Gameboy, a handheld gaming system. In addition to the games, Pokémon was also a cartoon show that started its first aired in April of 1997.

The main focus of all versions of the game is to capture, train, and evolve the ‘pocket monsters’ or Pokémon.

What is Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go is an app based augmented reality video game. But what does that actually mean?

In 2000 when my brother asked if we could go visit Japan so he could catch Pokémon, he was basically asking to play this game, in Japan.

Pokémon Go uses two main features of smartphones, the GPS and the camera, to create the experience of going out into the world to find Pokémon. Finding Pokémon requires players to go outside and walk around until one appears. Players must walk farther away for better Pokémon. Certain Pokémon only appear in areas with certain landscapes. For instance, if a player wants to catch a Water Pokémon, they will need to go to a local park with a lake or river.

If players want to get more items to train their Pokémon, they have to physically go to designated places in their town, often landmarks, called Pokéstops. Players looking to increase their points need to go to a Gym, often located on main streets.

Once players have reached level 5, they can choose a team: Instinct (Yellow), Mystic (Blue), or Valor (Red), and begin earning extra points and experience by battling in Gyms against other  Pokémon. Teams gain points for holding a gym for specific amounts of time and defeating other teams. Players can gain points by defeating a gym held by another team.

Additionally, at certain levels, players begin to receive Eggs that they can hatch into Pokémon by walking a minimum of 5 kilometers. (Yes, the metric system is used.)

All of these factors mean that people wishing to play Pokémon Go need to go outside and walk or run around their neighborhoods. Players must travel to landmarks and parks to get to higher levels.

Heights Library Pokéstops and Gym(s)

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library is very proud to be the host to Pokéstops and Gym(s)

Cleveland Heights Lee Road: Pokéstop

Everett L. Dodrill, Jr. Commemorative Bike Rack: Pokéstop

HKIC  Computer Lab (The old YMCA Building): Gym

Noble Library Branch: Gym

Coventry Library Branch: Pokéstop

University Heights Branch: Pokéstop

Get Pokémon Go:

  1. Access a mobile device’s App store.
  2. Search Pokémon Go.
  3. Find and press the Install button.
  4. Wait while the app downloads with bated breath.
  5. Open the app and create an account. (This might take a very long time because the game is so popular the servers are overly taxed. It might take more than a day.)
  6. Get outside, get walking, and catch those Pokémon!

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