Charmander, Rhydon, Snorlax, Gastly, Jynx, Pidgeot, Ponyta, Golem… Pikachu! There is a new language in the streets and parks where people roam and congregate while staring intently at mobile phones. It is the language of Pokémon Go, the hottest game on the app store right now with millions of people playing it all over the world, including Parkes.
Released earlier this month, Pokémon creatures are popping up everywhere in the real world and the idea is that you catch them. Players go to PokeStops to collect balls and other rewards, such as eggs, and Gyms where they can battle for a team against other teams.
One avid player from Forbes, Mitch Watson very soon realised the value of getting players together and started the Forbes and Parkes Pokémon Go Community on Facebook. In just over a week the group already has 230 members. “It is a good community of people and fun to get to know each other and go for walks.” Mitch has already clocked 100km in search of Pokémon.
Cooke Park has been one of the popular PokeStops in Parkes where lure modules are set up regularly. A lure attracts multiple Pokémon to the area for 30 minutes. Other players can see it on their phones and go there to catch Pokémon. On Sunday all three PokeStops in Cooke Park were lit up with lures and more than 80 people turned up to take advantage of it. On Monday about 30 people came and went while the lure was on in Cooke Park. “I have never seen so many people on a weekday in the park,” remarked one of the players.
Some Pokémoners were very excited when they managed to catch a rare Pokémon called Hitmonchan. Other rare Pokémon caught by players so far include a Dragonair and an Aerodactyl. Some of the players in Cooke Park on
Monday had over 300 Pokémon on the tally. It is apparently harder to play Pokémon Go in rural areas as you have to walk a lot more to find Pokémon. The more people there are, like in cities, the more Pokémon are around.
There have been many reports of people putting themselves in danger when playing. Mitch cautioned players to always be alert and stay safe while playing.
By Maggi Barnard