No one is immune to the Pokémon Go craze — not even the nation’s police forces.
The interactive game, which has attracted legions of global fans since it was released earlier this month, encourages players to go on a real-world scavenger hunt to find the Japanese animated characters. Here’s how it works, courtesy of USA Today:
The game presents a map powered by GPS, using real-world locations to spot Pokémon and collect items. When you find one, the game opens up your smartphone's camera, giving you a view of Pokémon in the real world. Once you spot them, you flick a Poké Ball toward the creature to capture it. Along with collecting Pokémon, there are Poké Stops pinned to real locations where players can grab items. It could be a grocery store, or a landmark, or even a sign that can serve as a Poké Stop. Once Pokémon are trained, players take them to gyms to battle other Pokémon.
Across the country, Pokémon Go has evolved into a little more than a summer distraction. Amid a week when two police shootings of black men and the murder of five officers in Dallas have convulsed the nation with renewed racial tensions, police have turned to the game to connect with people in their communities.
One officer in Fall River, Mass., took time off the beat to get involved in a Pokémon hunt:
In Tucson, Ariz., officers in a squad car blasted the Pokémon theme music for hunters trying to fill their Pokédex.
Police in Crewe., Va., warned players not to walk into traffic unwittingly. “If you become road kill who will train the Pokémon? Think about it…”
In Marion, Iowa, police had some sad news for Pokémon trainers in their city:
And finally, do not Pokémon Go and drive: