Poké­mon roam­ing in Cam­bridge

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE vwingate@ches­pub.com

CAM­BRIDGE — Poké­mon Go, a new aug­mented re­al­ity smart­phone game, has taken the coun­try by storm since its U.S. re­lease Wed­nes­day, July 6, and the game can be en­joyed through­out his­toric Cam­bridge.

As with other ver­sions of the Poké­mon fran­chise, the ul­ti­mate ob­ject of the game is to “catch ‘em all.” How­ever, new to this ver­sion is the re­quire­ment that play­ers must get up and walk to where the “pocket mon­sters” are, en­cour­ag­ing mil­lions of users to walk their com­mu­ni­ties in the quest to be the very best.

The AR soft­ware in the game uses a player’s smart­phone cam­era to in­ter­ject the im­age of the Poké­mon into the player’s im­me­di­ate en­vi­ron­ment. It also al­lows play­ers to snap a photo of the Poké­mon be­fore catch­ing it.

GPS is used to pin­point a player’s lo­ca­tion and guide them to where the Poké­mon are hid­ing. Play­ers also see on their map locations called PokéStops, where they can go to col­lect items such as PokéBalls used to cap­ture the mon­sters, and gyms where play­ers pick one of three teams, bat­tle one an­other to take con­trol, and gain ex­pe­ri­ence.

PokéStops and gyms are gen­er­ally lo­cated at no­table places such as his­toric build­ings, land­marks, and art in­stal­la­tions through­out the com­mu­nity, adding ed­u­ca­tional value to the hunt for Poké­mon. To ac­cess the fea­tures of these locations, a player must be within a few yards of the stop.

Poké­mon come in many dif­fer­ent types, and they tend to en­joy hang­ing out in their natural habi­tats. For in­stance, wa­ter types like Psy­duck, Magikarp, and Krabby can be found in abun­dance near the wa­ter at Long Wharf and Great Marsh Parks.

Grassy ar­eas are good places to find grass and bug types such as Od­dish and Cater­pie. Oc­ca­sion­ally, you might find a Poké­mon in a sur­pris­ing place, like a Squir­tle in the heart of down­town Cam­bridge.

PokéStops in Cam­bridge in­clude the Har­riet Tub­man Mu­seum on Race Street, Dorch­ester Cen­ter for the Arts and the Richardson Mar­itime Mu­seum on High Street and many other sig­nif­i­cant ar­eas around town.

While this in­no­va­tive gam­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to spend more time be­ing out­side and ac­tive, po­lice de­part­ments ev­ery­where are re­mind­ing play­ers to stay safe in their ad­ven­tures. The game pro­vides a warn­ing to play­ers to al­ways be alert and aware of their sur­round­ings, but it bears re­peat­ing. Ex­plore with a buddy, es­pe­cially if go­ing out at night, watch out for traf­fic when walk­ing near the road, and never play while driv­ing, po­lice have said.

“Just be aware of your sur­round­ings no mat­ter where you are,” said Cam­bridge po­lice.

PHOTO BY VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE

Krabby, a wa­ter-type Poke­mon, was caught at Long Wharf Park. The photo was taken with the Poke­mon Go app. The Chop­tank River Light­house also is a PokeS­top.

PHO­TOS BY VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE

This is an ex­am­ple of one of many PokeS­tops in down­town, the Har­riet Tub­man Mu­seum on Race Street. PokeS­tops typ­i­cally have his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance.

Gold­een, a wa­ter-type, was caught at Great Marsh Park.

Psy­duck, a wa­ter-type, was caught in the wa­ters at Long Wharf Park.

This is one of two Mag­ne­mites caught at the same time at Great Marsh Park.

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