July 11, 2016
As soon as Nintendo let loose the virtual creatures of Pokémon Go, the real world became a new and much more magical place.
The free mobile geocaching game has uniquely and simultaneously swept both the internet and the streets by storm, encouraging people to get some light exercise while living out the fantasy of the app's spiritual predecessor, N64's "Pokémon Snap."
On the other hand, all kinds of nightmare scenarios have been unfolding as augmented reality meets regular reality. There's been an armed robbery in Missouri, a dead body discovered in Wyoming's Big Wind River and plenty of people trying figure out why their property is being called a "gym" and scouted by mysterious cars. Speaking of which, the Washington DOT is warning citizens to steer clear of "Pokemoning" behind the wheel.
One impressively lazy or innovative man, depending on how you look at it, has even duct-taped his phone to a drone in order to catch em' all.
This is the kind of game we'd totally expect to go haywire in Philadelphia. The destruction of HitchBot last year and the general belief that we're the angriest city in the United States are precisely what make Pokémon Go an accident waiting to happen here.
It's being reported that many Philly gamers are disappointed with their Pokemon Go finds pic.twitter.com/0IgaOb6nT2— Escaped Octopus (@AlwaysWinning1) July 11, 2016
Maybe that bad rap has successfully been transferred to one of those "New Philadelphias" out in Schuylkill County and in Ohio.
A motorist pelted Pokemon Go players with eggs early Monday on the courthouse square in New Philadelphia.— Jon Baker (@jbakerTR) July 11, 2016
Here, so far, so good — somehow.
They Real Life Playing Pokemon In Philly Off Henny pic.twitter.com/VnDbQPun3T— Global (@VinePhilly) July 11, 2016
There are so many Pokemon in Wawa!!! pic.twitter.com/r9rbZISQcC— Allie Volpe (@allieevolpe) July 9, 2016
Went to philly for a cheesesteak and came back a Pokemon expert— Ian Charles (@Ian_MacQueen) July 11, 2016
"i need to move to philly theres so many rare pokemon" - pat— moo (@mootypebbles) July 9, 2016
If you told me a year ago that at some point in my life id be hoverboarding around philadelphia looking for pokemon id call you crazy— Jonny Schulman (@JSchully22) July 10, 2016
Lmao this Pokemon game got my little brother walking all around Northeast Philly 😂😭🙄 pic.twitter.com/RZUliaw6v5— Kassandra ✨ (@osnapitzkass) July 11, 2016
Of course, all it takes is one mishap to spoil the fun. That's why the Philadelphia Police Department issued some safety tips for people playing Pokémon Go.
• Tell your kids about stranger-danger. The way that the game is designed can bring people together in the real world as they search for Pokémon in common areas called gyms and Pokestops. Obviously, you never know who you could run into while playing.
• Set limits on where your kids can go. “Don’t leave the street/neighborhood without me” can limit the amount of strangers that you or your kids could encounter.
• Watch the road! I’ve already seen a number of people — both kids and adults — so engrossed while staring at their phones and following a map, that they’ve walked right into the street and into objects. Pay attention!
• And as always, if you run into an individual that is seemingly up to no good — don’t hesitate to call 911!
We will add: If you're led to the bottom of the Art Museum steps, take a deep breath and make sure you're not being set up by a jerk Pokémon. That's something they were put on Earth to do.