July 26, 2016

‘Pokemon Go’ grabs locals with easy leisure

By Jack Dura
Farmer Staff Writer

They can’t see them, but they know they are there.
Watford City residents have latched onto “Pokemon Go,” a mobile app game that gets users out on the streets searching for the cuddly creatures of the immensely popular card and video games of the 1990s and 2000s. The game takes users all over their local area looking for Pokemon to catch, train and battle.
Daphne Lee said she enjoys the game because it gets her and her family out of the house.
“It really gets you out and moving for people that are home bodies like myself,” she said.
Lee and her husband moved to Watford City in June after vacationing here in May. She and her sister downloaded the “Pokemon Go” app after the hype finally got to them.
“It was an instant hit,” she said.
So far, she’s caught 42 Pokemon but hasn’t battled at a gym yet.
Gyms are locations where players can meet and battle each other with their digital creatures. Lee said she’s found gyms near the Wild West Water Park and in Williston.
Kat Cook has been playing the game too, and said she likes the simplicity and ease of it all.
“I play the normal, classic Pokemon games on my handheld as well, but they’re way more involved,” she said. “So this is really fun. It’s not overly complicated. It’s on my phone so I have that on me all the time and when I’m walking the dog or something like that, I can just pop it open and play a little bit.”
Cook said she’s caught between 40 and 50 Pokemon, and Eevee is her favorite one.
“It’s cute, looks like a little fox, but it can evolve or turn into various different kinds of Pokemon,” she said.
Lee said she likes how the game introduces players to others when they meet while gaming.
“This game requires you to get out of the house, families play and we’ve even interacted with others,” she said.
Most of the other players she’s met are adults, she added, but her sister, nieces and nephews all play together too.
A lot of players can be found at or around the McKenzie County Public Library, the Theodore Roosevelt head at the Roosevelt Inn & Suites and the One Stop convenience store, Lee said.
Cook said few Pokemon abound where she lives at Emerald Ridge, but Main Street is pretty populated with the monsters.
She added she mainly plays after work or on weekends, while Lee said she plays every day, walking around her neighborhood or driving while her family plays.
“I won’t get bored of it too quickly,” Cook said.
Britt Boxleitner said she hasn’t played “Pokemon Go,” but she can see it’s brought people together.
“It is something that will fade back out in time and for now people are getting out and finding something to bond over. With all of the negative things going on in the world, let them have fun,” she said.
“I could think of way worse things people could be out doing with their spare time.”