Pokémon Go offers free fun, way to see local sights

By: By Mallory Turner - Summer Intern

A new smartphone app will not only let you collect different creatures, but it will help you go on an adventure to explore your town and see what it has to offer.

Pokémon has been a widely popular franchise since its creation in the mid-90s, with its various video games, movies, and TV shows set in a world where different creatures called Pokémon can be captured and befriended by the people they interact with. Over 800 Pokémon have been created, and now Nintendo (who own the license to the franchise) is spanning its ever increasing market into your smartphone, with the release of Pokémon Go.

This app, which was released on Wednesday, July 6, in the United States on both Android and iOS, puts the Pokémon from this fictional universe into our world with the use of GPS and your smartphone camera. You create a trainer — you can customize their skin, hair, eyes and clothes — and Professor Willow, who will be your guide, teaches how to catch your first Pokémon, which is a choice between the three starter Pokémon from the first series of games: Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle.

Different areas can give you different Pokémon to capture. This means that in Clinton, NC, you can explore and see what Pokémon our town has to offer. After a walk around town, I was able to encounter many different types, with more that are yet to be discovered. Not only are there different Pokémon to catch, but there are also Pokéstops: locations that can be visited that will give you different items to use in the game, including more Pokéballs to catch. You can use this opportunity to not only have fun with a new app, but see different landmarks around your town.

There are a few different locations in downtown Clinton that can be visited, such as the Sampson-Clinton J.C Holiday Public Library and the Sampson County History Museum. Afternoons can be spent exploring downtown and seeing the different places that pop up, and the different Pokémon.

There are also gyms that can be found, which a trainer can go to once they reach level five to gain experience. If you’re looking for one in the downtown, there are three that appear on the map; one of them happens to be the “Milling Around” public art piece that was put in place in 2011.

A word of caution, however: you need to be careful where Pokémon Go is sending you. When looking down at your phone, it is easy to walk into the street without noticing, or run into other objects or people. It may also be tempting to trespass when a Pokémon pops up in areas where you probably shouldn’t go. Use caution and look where you’re going while using the app, and make sure you make note of any signs in an area that say “No Trespassing” or “Keep Out.”

Otherwise, this app is a fun, free way to get outdoors and explore what your town has to offer. While downtown, you can stop your adventure and go to one of the shops that are open or grab a snack at a local restaurants or coffee shop. If you’re a parent and want to bond with your child, or like me are a young adult reliving their childhood, head to downtown Clinton and check out Pokémon Go.

Reach Mallory Turner can be reached at 910-592-8137.

By Mallory Turner

Summer Intern

Reach Mallory Turner can be reached at 910-592-8137.