Hawaiʻi Fans Hunting for Picachu on Pokémon GO

July 15, 2016, 10:54 AM HST · Updated July 15, 4:03 PM
Wendy Osher · 0 Comments
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Pokemon Go graphic courtesy: Decluttr

Pokemon Go graphic courtesy: Decluttr

Hawaiʻi fans are among those participating in the augmented reality game, Pokémon Go which has gripped the nation with headlines highlighting personal safety, precautions to take and the surge in popularity since the app was released.

Headlines in recent days include NBC’s “Two Men Fall Down Cliff While Playing Pokémon Go,” San Diego’s News 10’s,”Pokémon Go Players Discover Body at Marian Bear Memorial Park,” and Forbes’ “Why Do You Complain When Your House Becomes a Pokémon.”

Survey Monkey reports that within just three days of its release, Pokémon Go was expected to attract more users than Twitter and by Tuesday, it had nearly 21 million daily active users in the US, according to Gizmodo.

Because of its popularity in Hawaiʻi, the Honolulu Police Department issued a message this week advising the public of safety precautions saying they want the public to enjoy the game, but to be safe.

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“Pay attention to your surroundings at all times and never play the game while driving (it’s unsafe and it’s illegal to use mobile electronic devices while driving-there’s a $297 fine). Always look up while crossing streets or walking in parking lots, and don’t jaywalk or stop in the middle of the street or a driveway to catch a Pokémon,” police said.

The HPD also advised the public to stay in a group and don’t go into unfamiliar or isolated areas, especially at night.  Police also advised the public not to trespass or damage other people’s property in the quest to catch a Pokémon.

“Let’s keep the game fun for everyone,” the advisory stated.

Re-commerce site Decluttr.com looked into “which character each US state is desperately searching for” on Pokémon Go and found that Hawaii is searching for Pikachu the most.

The site used Google search query data, and compiled the results for all the states, which are listed below:

· “Pikachu is currently the most wanted Pokémon in America, with Arizona, Delaware, Hawaiʻi, Kansas, Mississippi, and Rhode Island all hunting for the ultra-cute star of the TV series. As the ‘face’ of Pokémon, this is no huge surprise.”

· “More surprising is the second most searched Pokémon: Eevee. Despite being one of the lesser known Pokémon, players in Alaska, Illinois, Nevada, North Carolina and Texas are desperate to find her”

· “The third most searched Pokémon in America is Ditto, another fairly obscure Pokémon. If you find one, let players in New York, Alabama, Maryland and South Dakota know,” the site stated.

According to the Pokémon Go website, the game, which can be played on iPhones and Android devices, allows users to “travel between the real world and the virtual world of Pokémon.”

According to the site, Pokémon GO is built on Niantic’s Real World Gaming Platform and will use real locations to encourage players to search in the real world to discover Pokémon.

“The Pokémon video game series has used real-world locations such as the Hokkaido and Kanto regions of Japan, New York, and Paris as inspiration for the fantasy settings in which its games take place. In Pokémon GO, the real world will be the setting,” the company website states.

The site notes that “as you move around, your smartphone will vibrate to let you know you’re near a Pokémon.”  Players take aim by touching their screen and trying to catch it.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources also released a statement today providing some advice to Pokemon Go enthusiasts.

“This phenomenon provides a good opportunity to remind people to practice good outdoor ethics,” state officials said.

Curt Cottrell, DLNR Division of State Parks Administrator provided the following tips:

Be safe. Use electronic devices responsibly and in emergencies to call for help. Distracted hiking, like distracted driving, can lead to accidents.

Stay on designated trails. Follow all signs and closures. Do not trespass, or enter natural or cultural areas where access is prohibited.

Carry out what you carry in. Leave no trace.

“We want and encourage people to enjoy all of the outstanding natural and cultural resources  Hawai’i has to offer.  Given the release of Pokemon Go, this is an opportune time to remind everyone that these resources can and should be enjoyed in a pono way,” Case said.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served nearly 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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