Pokemon Go attracts gamers in CTX, causes safety concerns - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Pokemon Go attracts gamers in CTX, causes safety concerns

WACO, TX (KXXV) -

Central Texans have started trying out a newly released app called Pokemon Go that allows you to catch virtual creatures called Pokemon in the real world while visiting points of interest in your city.

For Bruce Brown, the game has allowed him to enjoy the outdoors with his family.

"My daughter is going off to college and it gave us a good chance to do things together. It got her out of the house.  She's actually been walking and talking,” Brown said. “"It's been great for the family."

On Monday evening, the Browns and at least 15 gamers were at Indian Spring Park near the Waco Suspension Bridge catching Pokemon.

"It's nice to watch all the little groups get together and you battle and make new friends,” gamer Ashley Whitman said. "I just like that it brings people together and it is encouraging people to go out instead of just sitting at home. 

Other gamers, like Matthew Payne, created a Facebook group to connect with other gamers in the area called Waco Pokemon Go Trainer Club had 122 followers on Monday night.

Payne who was playing at Indian Spring Park on Monday morning said the game allows for different groups of people to gather.

“I think for something to come along as major as this just brings groups of people together who never would’ve said hi to each other on the street into a common cause. It's great,” Payne said.

He recognizes the game could be distracting while walking for some.

“I think people need to pay attention where they’re going. It’s really easy to keep staring at your phone but you have to keep a heads up where you’re going and be safe,” Payne said. “None of us want to end up at the hospital for Pokemon.”

The Texas Department of Transportation advised users against using the app while driving or crossing the street without paying attention.

There could be other dangers associated with the app. In Missouri, four teens allegedly used the app to target victims in multiple robberies.

Woodway Public Safety Department Director Yost Zakhrary users to exercise caution while using the app, including not going to unknown or unlit places, or visiting places alone. He also recommends people to let someone your location. In addition, he said you should be aware of your surroundings and not trespass on private property. 

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