Friday, August 5, 2016

Pokemon in the Rain

When I came to Florida at the beginning of July, Pokemon Go was all over the news. I'd never heard of it before, but when I returned to England, it was all the rage there too! What the heck is this game?

Now back in the states again, I mentioned my mystification to my 18-year-old nephew, Jesse, and he offered to show me the ropes. We made a deal to meet yesterday morning for a walk around the neighborhood. He was going to knock on my door at 7:30, when any self-respecting Pokemon ought to still be in bed.

Well, at that appointed hour, it was raining cats and dogs. I thought it likely Jesse wouldn't even show up.

But no! Being super-punctual, there he was! And we set off on our walk, golf umbrellas at hand. I was fine with that -- having lived in both Florida and England, rain does not slow me down.

So the deal is this: A player simply walks around, and his or her phone vibrates when a Pokemon, which is a little animal or monster, is nearby. I'm not sure who places these Pokemon or how they're distributed, but a few were lurking even in our quiet suburban neighborhood. They're apparently fixed in the same location for all players -- they don't move around. I suppose this has something to do with GPS.

The phone screen shows a live shot of the ground immediately in front of the player, complete with creature (when one is present). There's also a map function, where they can be seen on a map of the surrounding area.

On the screen of the phone above, you can see one -- a yellow bird -- and a little red ball. The player "throws" the ball at the creature, and captures it, earning points.

As I told my nephew, it's great that video game developers have at least figured out a way to get people outside and interacting with their environments, even if it's through a phone screen. As long as they're not walking into traffic. Which happens.

I also went to visit my step-grandmother yesterday. She has an amazing collection of refrigerator magnets. (Yes, I see the Confederate flag. What can I say? She's 93 years old, and from Arkansas.) She and her son, who lives with her, have a crazy new kitten named Blue.

And finally, last night, I took my college friend Liz to dinner for her birthday. We had a fun evening out.

In between, I ran more errands with my step-mother -- banking, returning things to stores, you name it. There's still a lot to do around here. I suppose I shouldn't let Pokemon distract me! (Of course, I'm sure my ancient iPhone won't even run the app, so there's no danger I'll become a habitual player.)


  1. Pokemon? I thought it was "Poke Man" - which I imagined to be some sort of gay hook up magazine.

  2. I hear that there is major Pokemon action next door at the church and also at the Post Office.
    Go figure.

  3. Those pokemons are everywhere. Some even hang out in the lab at my husband's job!

  4. Thanks for explaining hat mysterious game that I've been hearing so much about. No wonder people are walking into traffic and stepping off curbs and breaking their ankles. I love all those magnets. I used to have a big collection of them too but, in one of my moves, I got rid of most of them. I still have around six of them, mostly from my last two trips to Europe.

  5. Also, thank you for the Pokemon description. I just hope people watch where they are going: sidewalks, streets, neighborhoods for safetys sake.
    It's good that you can see more family and friends while you are in Tampa. I am very partial to tabby cats so love the new kitten.

  6. I'm glad to get the run down on Pokemon too; it's everywhere here as well. It's good to get people moving but I fear for some people's lives, as you mention. Natural selection, maybe? Just kidding.

    Cute kitten! They have SO MUCH ENERGY.

  7. Last week we saw a large crowd of Pokemon players sitting in a public park below a huge statue of one of the big German poets (Schiller) totally oblivious to the inscription on the statue "The dignity of humanity has been put into your hands, protect it."

    It's good to read how you are able to spend this time with family.

  8. Thanks for the explanation, I have avoided trying to understand it. I love magnets but have slowed down purchasing and displaying them. Kind of like matchbooks, I only kept a few from my Dad.

  9. Finally somebody has explained how pokemon works. Thanks. It's an incredible amount of work to clear up and estate. You haven't even got the the tax and money part yet.

  10. Our church is apparently a pokestop - ha!

  11. Now I get Pokemon! Sort of... I won't be running around the neighborhood phone in hand either.
    There have been one or two incidents/accidents here where people have crashed cars while driving and playing it. What donkeys.

    I also love Blue, the kitten.


  12. I kind of disagree on the whole Pokemon thing. Yes, it's getting people out, but they are still 100% completely (still) addicted to their phones! I think it's crazy, stupid and dangerous. Better to get out and go for a walk then glued to a device looking for ... uhm... ghosts.

  13. Thanks for a memorable birthday, Mr. Reed! Tell Jennifer thanks, have a good time at Anna Maria, best to Sue and safe travels back to London!

  14. yep. a friend who lives in an apartment on the Square here in small town Wharton says that the Pokemon players are all over the Square, mostly at night being noisy.