Pokemon Go Unites Baltimore

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Baltimoreans playing Pokemon Go. Photo via imgur

If you’ve noticed more people than usual wandering the streets of Baltimore, staring down at their phones, the explanation is probably Pokemon Go.

The app, which was released over the weekend, encourages users to explore their cities IRL in search of elusive Pokemon, which are scattered at GPS locations throughout the city. So in other words, it’s a little bit like a virtual reality scavenger hunt. The augmented reality aspect of the game is innovative in that it encourages users to get out of their houses and engage with the world–and other users.

One Reddit user in Canton wrote that the game has already resulted in some surprising interactions: “I was in the park last night (~11PM) when a patrol car rolled through. I thought they would ask us to leave. They just asked, ‘ are you guys playing that game?’ we responded yes, they were like just watch out for phone snatchers. They left but not before I noticed the cop in the passenger seat was also playing. Somehow I dont feel worried going into the park this late as I can see like phones everywhere bouncing around.”

Of course, when you leave your house, sometimes scary things happen; Pokemon Go users have already stumbled on a dead body and been lured into an armed robbery. Or maybe you’ll make  a new friend.


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