The new game Pokemon Go has teens, children, adults and whole families covering Redlands in droves, and this is great for our town and our citizens.
They’re going to parks. The other night around sundown on the dirt roads in Prospect Park there were dozens of parents out with their kids, all with their cell phones out hunting Pokemon, together as families.
They are discovering Redlands’ walking and bicycle paths. In order for the Pokemon eggs to hatch, the phone’s owner must walk or cycle 3 kilometers. Some teen gamers are saying out loud that they rarely go outside, but that it’s nice.
They are seeing what our Bowl’s Summer Music Festival has to offer. There are characters to catch there, so the players go. Then they look up and take note of the entertainment.
They’re learning at the San Bernardino County Museum, where players have to read from exhibits in order to capture a Pokeball.
They are going into shops downtown -- many discovering them for the first time. They’re shopping and eating, which supports the local economy.
Some of the businesses are coming up with specials for the Pokemon Go players. They’re engaging them and developing new relationships.
The city’s Healthy Redlands Saturday, a wonderful project initiated by Councilwoman Pat Gilbreath, is marketing to Pokemon Go players who need to hatch their eggs. They can all walk those 3 kilometers together. (Meet at Sylvan Park weekly from 8 to 11 a.m. There is no cost to participate. Check in is at the table located near the Rose Garden off of Chapel Street. Bottled water and snacks will be provided.)
And the A.K. Smiley Public Library will host a Pokémon Meetup on Thursday, July 28 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the A.K. Smiley Public Library Assembly Room. There are multiple PokeStops, and the library advertises its cell-phone charging stations and free Wi-Fi so players don't use up their data. "Make some new friends, have some fun and catch some Pokémon! Feel free to wear any Pokémon attire you may have.” the library posted on Facebook.
What a wonderful way to build community! What a beautiful way to make Redlands the kind of place parents want to raise families in.
Just as with running, Frisbee tossing, training for the Olympics or any other heralded activity, participants must stay out of people’s yards, be attentive of surroundings and take care to avoid injury. Most games or sports will see some people who are not respectful or responsible, sadly.
But this game is getting people of multiple generations to experience Redlands, and that’s good stuff.
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