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October 27, 2017 9:53 pm

The Pros and Cons of Pokémon Go

Friday, July 22, 2016 @ 6:00 AM

PpokemonPrince George, B.C. – While there’s no doubt Pokémon Go has helped inspire people to get off their couches and head outdoors this summer there’s still debate over whether the app has had an entirely positive effect on its users.

( at right, screenshot of  Pokémon Go App as it loads)

“Well I think any activity that helps people out walking and moving around is always something that we endorse because we want people to move around,” says Steve Raper, chief communications officer with Northern Health.

“But I think where the issue comes in for us, and it’s not simply with Pokémon Go, it’s the PDAs (personal digital assistants), it’s looking at your phone while you’re texting, it’s Facebooking or whatever you’re doing at intersections, it’s doing these things safely.

“It’s making sure you’re taking the time if you’re at an intersection you’re making eye contact with the driver before you cross the road (For tips on staying safe click here). It’s those simple practices that are getting forgotten as we bury our faces in our personal hand-held devices.”

Aside from exercise, Pokémon Go, which uses a mobile phone’s GPS to decide which Pokémon appear in the game before a player captures ‘them all’, seems to be promoting an interest in the arts, at least in Prince George.

“We have two gyms on the site and gyms are important in the whole Pokémon Go craze,” says Carolyn Holmes, managing director of Two Rivers Gallery. “You need to visit them and show the strength of your Pokémon and you can battle to gain control of each gym.”

Holmes says one of gyms – located upstairs in the atrium – opened to the public last night and is hoping people come by and check it out.

“That’s where you need to come and check out the whole gallery. You can sit in one of the chairs in the galleria and look at the art and you can battle away.”

She also sees Pokémon Go as a great way to promote what’s happening at the gallery.

“I guess it’s kind of cool, right? Anything that gets people out,” says Holmes. “Lots of people in town we know haven’t been here before so if they’re coming for the purpose of collecting Pokémon and they see what other great things we have here; I think that will benefit us in the long run.”

Pokémon Go has also helped spur business at the Black Donkey Café located at 3rd and George downtown.

“Well it just so happens that on the corner here where we are, there’s three Poke Stops which are basically areas players can find a Pokémon,” says administrative manager Marc Legere. “So our corner has been very, very busy and so we kind of took advantage of that and we now have 32 USB charging stations here in the café and we’re open late hours.”

During the week the café now closes at around 2 a.m. and as a result, Legere estimates business has tripled over the past week or so.

Christie Ray, CEO of the Prince George Chamber of Commerce, encourages other businesses to take advantage too.

“It’s certainly something I think businesses will want to consider and look into from a marketing standpoint, there could be some real benefit.”

She suggests interested businesses start by downloading the free Pokémon Go app to see if your business is a gym or a Poke Stop.

“And if it is one of those then basically you’re already sitting on a bit of a marketing goldmine and it’ll be very easy to capitalize on the proximity to this Pokémon app.”

But if you’re not?

“You could potentially purchase different apps. You can pay to have a Pokémon Go character visit your business and it works out to be about a dollar per 30 minutes or so. You can buy for short or long periods of time. It could potentially be a great way to get customers into your establishment.”

Despite fostering exercise, a love of the arts and business acumen, the Pokémon Go craze does have its dark side.

For instance, just last week the Prince George RCMP said a male suspect stole approximately $600 in Pokémon merchandise at a store in the Parkwood Mall.

Thankfully for the merchant police say all the merchandise was recovered though the suspect managed to flee the scene.



Why should police departments have to go on tv or the radio to “remind” people not to play this game while walking or driving? Seems common sense is not so common these days..

    it is a lot to do from the type of education that some of the next generation is receiving. The school systems harbor these kids to believe that they are so special that the world will halt for them.

    A perfect example of this is the street crossing at pine center where the kids leaving PGSS heads to the mall. They do not even check if traffic is coming, and step onto the crosswalk. This is a example of them not being exposed to the real world. Parents and educators are not doing their job.

      So you don’t think these kids have been explained about crosswalks etc? Just because Some choose to follow the rules doesn’t mean they all do.. I am sure you where the perfect kid…always followed every rule, never J-walked, talked back, have never sped while driving..because that’s how you where raised/taught.

      As for Pokemon go… All who are playing it enjoy the excersize and meeting new people..those that don’t play it….just whine about it ;)

Ah yes, another enlightened 250 reader, telling us how it is. My generation who grew up on girls in bikinis selling us beer and Cigarettes on print and TV, Leaded fuel, Asbestos in the classrooms and our homes… getting belted by our fathers, getting told how ‘adult’ it was to have a beer and smoke by 14.. yeah, we had it all figured out, unlike this new generation. I remember loading 10 friends in my Corolla and going to McDonald’s at lunch, ditching school, not one seatbelt worked in that car. Oh wait, it had ‘lapbelts’ , so they were useless anyways.

pfft, they know nothing like we do, we were so educated… good job on blaming parents and the ‘educators’ for a couple teens not looking carefully when crossing the road, that NEVER happened when we were skipping school at DP Todd back in the day. Kids not paying attention is a new thing that just started, another great point by you.

Learned so much today, can’t wait for you to post more insight on kids these days, and how we were so much better.

    Maybe an overhead walkway would better suit them.. Ohh yaaaa then they’d throw things on cars underneath them..

Its good to see people of all ages enjoying the city and doing something positive. It strange to see so much media buzz around the game positive and negative. Candy Crush and Clash of Clans are larger enterprises and they have not received the polarizing attention that Pokemon Go has been getting.

Went out for a 1hr walk catching pokemon last night. Lots of other people doing the same. Definitely need to be alert, but it was a good motivation to get out and enjoy the space. You really don’t need to be glued to your device to play this game. Just keep your head up!

I had my first experience with this app last night. Had a great walk with my daughter. We had some laughs, got some exercise. It was fun. And I always thought Pokémon had something to do with the Catholic Church in Jamaica ;-)

“Pokémon go”, an awesome tool for further thinning of the herd.

    Only a matter of time before a glitch in the system puts a Pokemon on the middle of a train bridge…

      Off the edge of a cliff, in the middle of a water way, rail yard, in an oil refinery, bank vault, etc. Yes it is bound to happen if it hasn’t already. Look, you can’t fix stupid but it beats the alternative.
      Wasn’t it last week when everyone was complaining about how kids don’t go outside anymore, they don’t know how to converse… this seems no different than when the Wii came out and everyone was smashing their TV’s with the controller.

      Well I would rather that then someone texting and driving anytime.

Whatever turns your crank to get out and about. I just raise golden retrievers for the last fourteen years to get all the exercise I need.

I’ve only read about this new craze, I haven’t personally witnessed it, but I can’t ignore some other activities that have striking similarities. Like…for those of the old school way of finding your way in the wilderness, staring down at a compass while navigating unfamiliar terrain, new school it’s a hand held GPS. I’m quite certain geo cachers have stories of people stumbling, tripping & walking into stationary objects. One thing I have come to realize about our species is, for the most part, we spend a lot of time blissfully unaware of our surroundings, sometimes to our detriment, most times not. Very few people are totally in tune with the environment that they occupy. Is this bad? Not usually, all of us from time to time need a reminder to pay more attention, this game is no different. As the game evolves so will the people who play it, they will learn to pay closer attention to where they are. Anyone remember when Walkmans first came out & how the older generation foretold of all the carnage that would happen because “these damn kids nowadays” wouldn’t be able to hear danger coming. Hmmmm, fast forward 30 odd years, yes there are still the few that unfortunately put themselves in jeopardy, but on the whole we adapted. I say let them get out & have some fun, enjoy your new game, hey maybe some of the naysayers will try it & enjoy it. Just be aware of your surroundings & have some fun.

I’m not sure what the fuss is against Pokémon Go. It’s just an alternate version of geocaching.

    Not entirely. Get cache locations are set up by people who actually visit the location of the cache. They are not randomly generated by a computer as the Pokemon in the Pokemon Go app seem to be.

    Personally, I have no issue with people of any age playing the game, but they should use their heads and not go into an area such as someone’s private yard or garden just because an app shows a “Pokemon” is there.

Pokemon Zombies is what I call them. Had a fella on my street doing circles and the dog barking at him through the window and the dude didn’t even look at us! Well people wanted Nintendo to dish out a real game for the smartphone even if it is created and sold by a different maker. The phase will die in a few weeks just like everything else.

Its a sad state of affairs when you need your face stuck in a screen to have an excuse to be active.

LMAO all you bitter killjoys and coffin dodgers hating on a game. for real, do you have nothing better to do than shake your fists impotently at people enjoying themselves??? keep fearing the future :) :) :)

personally the game has been INCREDIBLY social, my wife and I had no real idea about it until we were walking in a park and two strangers asked us if we were playing. since we started playing and walking about we’ve had so many friendly interactions with people! complete strangers coming up and offering advice or telling us about a Pokemon nearby, or maybe asking what team we play on. it’s the most paradoxical thing ever: a cell phone game that makes you MORE likely to interact not just with friends but with perfect strangers too.

Put them on survivor,,,,let them die from no water or food,,,,,I mean really,,,,,,where is our world coming to.

    I ask myself that same question when people like you post the kind of comment that you did or people like Dumbfounded post how he “kept his foot in it” to see if an idiot passing him on a double solid line blind curve would survive the experience. Apparently “Dumbfounded” lives up to the first part of his moniker in that he was too dumb to realize that he could have involved himself and/or another driver in a fatal accident just to prove a point to another idiot.

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