Miller Park, pictured above, was rife with Pokemon to catch. When I visited, one of the Pokestops was lured, so I got to take this photo and have a little fun, too.


The game uses your phone's GPS to make Pokemon appear in the game around you, which you can then catch by using in-game items. By walking around in real life, you’re more likely to run into other Pokemon. The reasons for playing are as varied as the Pokemon themselves: catching 'em all, helping your team control all the gyms in your area, or just having fun with your friends (and maybe even some you haven't met yet).


Pokestop: A real life location that has signed up to be a spot that players can get items from every five minutes.

Gym: A real life location that can be “controlled” by one of the three teams — Mystic, Valor or Instinct — that players sign up with. Battling for control of the gyms comes in the form of a mini-game.

Team Instinct: The best team (in my opinion)

Lure: An item you can “attach” to a Pokestop that means more Pokemon spawn there for 30 minutes.

Candy: You acquire candy when you catch Pokemon. Each specialized candy is then used to evolve that Pokemon or level it up, making it stronger.

Depending on who you are, Pokemon GO either conjures feelings of glory of dominating local gyms and catching 'em all, or feelings of frustration at 20-somethings crossing the road while staring at their phones. Regardless, the app topped Instagram and Twitter's daily users very early on, and seems here to stay.

A GO-centric pub crawl here in Chattanooga caught my eye recently, and as an aforementioned oblivious 20-something, I thought I'd check it out.

Anyone who assumes this is a kids' game is sorely mistaken. (Just ask the prime minister of Israel.) Around 300 people gathered for the event, everyone from yuppie types who'd just gotten off work to hippies with their hair in dreads. But they were all talking about the game. Anyone who played the video games as a child has fond memories that GO brings back to the surface, creating a sort of camaraderie that social status and race can't break.

The crawl itself wasn't exactly what I'd hoped. Waves of 50 players hopped from bar to bar, catching and comparing Pokemon along the way, and the poor bartenders and waiters seemed wholly unprepared for our tide. So while most in my group tried to cram inside Beast and Barrel on Frazier Avenue, a select few, including me, didn't. Outside, we were treated to a moment of sheer magic: There were at least six Pokestops right in the area, positively brimming with Pokemon. We spent the next 20 minutes flitting from one stop to the next, cheering for what we caught and cursing the ones that got away. I knew none of these people, and sure, the game is a simple mobile app, but the joy I shared with complete strangers was extremely real. If you haven't given it a go, you might just find a connection you didn't expect. If you still find yourself a bit confused, ask just about anyone with their head buried in their phone.

New Magikarps spawned nearly every two minutes by Clumpies Ice Cream. Better get to catching if you want that Gyarados.