What the heck is Pokemon Go?! We’ve seen the hoards of kids, teens and parents around downtown Indy with their phones out and read the releases by the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and more and new we needed to dig in.
So with today’s post: Learn how to Pokemon Go in Indianapolis. It’s our special parents primer to this latest app craze!
You know those people who walk around looking down at their phones? People stepping out into traffic or bumping into trees? Have you noticed there seems to be a lot more of them recently?? The most likely culprit: Pokémon Go. I am here to explain what it is, how you can get involved with your kids playing it and where you can find some great spots around Indy.
All you need to join the fun of Pokémon Go is a smartphone and the ability to go outside.
The basics: Pokémon Go is a free-to-play app that is an enhancement of an older ‘real world virtual reality’ app called Ingress. Starting is as easy as installing the Pokémon Go app through your phone’s app store. You then create an avatar and get moving. The goal is to collect all 134 Pokémon figures.
Gameplay: You’ll find these Pokémon by using a map based on your real world location. To find and catch them, you’ll need to physically move to different areas. The best place to find them are near PokéStops, where you collect additional items to use in game, and Gyms, which allow you to fight other people’s Pokémon. Both locations show up on the game’s map. Tip: Museums and historical landmarks are known for having rare Pokémon and are usually PokéStops or Gyms. There are three teams (red, blue and yellow) you can choose from once you reach level 5. As you collect Pokémon you can work on upgrading or evolving them to increase your odds during battles at Gyms to take them over for your team.
It’s no surprise that kids are spending more time on their screens now that they’re out of school on summer break. Sure they might be going on trips and spending time visiting local attractions but when the heat sets in they might prefer to stay inside.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximately 75 percent of children and adolescents fail to get at least one hour of moderate physical activity each day, with children between the ages of 12 and 15 most likely to embrace their inner couch potato. But when physical activity is wrapped up in a game they can play with friends, they don’t even notice they’re getting exercise. The game is also a great way to get kids to explore parks, museums and even historical sites.
Some parents are also using the game as a way to have their kids join them on errands without complaints (‘there might be a new Pokémon there!’) and take them to places they may have otherwise moaned about (‘doesn’t the IMA have a Pokémon Gym?’).
I spoke with Conner Prairie’s Social Media Specialist Hannah Kiefer about the popularity of the game and how it is affecting their historic site. She noted that there were more middle school and high school kids joining their younger siblings at Conner Prairie since the game came out. There are multiple PokéStops and a Gym there, which is a high ratio for one location. Hannah said they had yet to look at the stats to determine if total attendance is up as a direct result of the game, but they are positive that the number of preteen and teen visitors has increased.
Where to Find Pokémon in Indianapolis
Be aware that there are certain establishments that will kick you out for playing the game if you aren’t a paying customer. If you are interested in interacting with local Pokémon Go players, there’s a Facebook group for that: Pokémon Go: Indianapolis.
Where else have you found Pokemon in Indianapolis that we don’t have listed? Spill in the comments and then use these tips to go catch ’em all!