Roma State College students Johannes Wells and Matt Reynolds have joined in the fun associated with the new Pokemon Go mobile app.
Roma State College students Johannes Wells and Matt Reynolds have joined in the fun associated with the new Pokemon Go mobile app. Blake Antrobus

Roma players go crazy for Pokemon app

IT’S the latest mobile craze sweeping the globe and a growing number of Roma locals are among those to determined to catch ’em all following the release of the new Pokemon Go mobile app.

Johannes Wells and Matt Reynolds are two of dozens of people across the Maranoa who are playing the augmented reality game, which uses GPS and camera systems to allow players to catch virtual Pokemon at real-world locations.

“I’m loving it at the moment, it brings back the days of the Gameboy and original Pokemon games,” Matt said.

“It needs a few tweaks with server issues, crashes and privacy issues but otherwise it’s a great game.”

The game encourages players to walk around to catch Pokemon, while allowing them to interact with real-world locations while they search for items and battle other players at designated ‘gyms’ across town.

Gym locations are determined by significant landmarks, and are controlled by one of the three factions the player can join in the game. Players can battle hostile gyms or join friendly ones to strengthen their hold on the location.

Johannes said the game was a great initiative to get people out and about, allowing them to exercise and meet new people.

“I’ve met a tonne of people going around town to play the game. The whole aim of the game is to get people out with the walking segment,” he said.

The pair expressed surprise at the number of players in Roma, stating there were lots of newcomers to the game that had decided to check it out.

“It’s surprising to see new people getting into it, and there are even groups emerging in town with the factional teams and gyms,” Matt said.

“This is a new way of bringing the community together.”

The game has prompted some concerns with authorities warning about player distraction and the potential security concerns with the game’s use of Google accounts.

Roma Police have also responded to the game, with Senior Constable Rochelle Gillett urging players to be wary of their surroundings while playing the game.

“Police are concerned about dangerous situations that can be caused by using this popular mobile game,” she said.

“Police are worried gamers are roaming the streets and parks (sometimes in the middle of the night), unaware of passing traffic or their surroundings.

“Several players around the globe have already been injured whilst playing this popular game, due to their eyes being glued to their smartphone screens in search of Pokemon and therefore not aware of where they are walking, or even driving.”

Police recommendations while playing Pokemon Go:

  • Be sure that you have permission to enter a building or an area of a building, so you are not trespassing
  • When using the Pokémon Go! app in a public place, be aware of your surroundings, stay alert to what is going on around you and who is around you.
  • If you have children using the game, you may need to supervise them and teach them about safety.
  • Don’t invade other people’s personal space – be considerate of others.
  • Switch off the app whilst driving. It is your responsibility to drive safe with proper care and attention. It is very easy to cause a traffic accident, due to distraction and inattention.
  • Be sure you communicate with your family and tell them where you plan on going and how long you will be gone for.

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