Pokemon Go app taking users by storm - WNEM TV 5

Pokemon Go app taking users by storm

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BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

If you think you've noticed more people with their faces glued to their phones than usual, you're probably right.

The new Pokemon Go app has taken smart phone users by storm.

If you have seen people wandering local parks and sidewalks with their eyes down and fingers swiping, you're not alone. More than a million people are taking part in a new craze called Pokemon Go.

"This seems to be a hot spot downtown, so that's why we're out here today," said Kyle Srebinski, Pokemon Go player.

Pokemon players like Srebinski take special walks to collect more Pokemon.

The app launched on Wednesday in the U.S. and it's already extremely popular. Especially among millennials who grew up with the popular Gameboy game in the 90s.

"When I was young Pokemon was real big. So it's kinda like it takes it back to your childhood a little bit," Srebinski said.

His girlfriend, Kristen Freese, said the game gives them something fun to do as a couple.

"It brings us out and we're able to walk around and just enjoy outside and the sun," Freese said.

The app uses your phone's GPS to create a map of your location. It uses your surroundings as points of interest in the game.

"If you're just glued to your phone you're not going to see anything. There have been some cases that are sad of people being injured and we don't want to see that," Michigan State Police Trooper Will Smith said.

Smith said police want people to have fun, but to pay attention. There have been some incidents of people around the country being distracted while walking and wandering into dangerous areas.

"You gotta use your brain, use your common sense and be aware of your surroundings. We always talk about situational awareness and know where you're at, what neighborhoods you're in and what you're doing," Smith said.

Covenant Hospital released this statement in regards to hunting Pokemon on hospital grounds:

While Covenant HealthCare believes it is great physical exercise for children to hunt for GPS Pokemon, the hospital is not the place to do this. Our patients need their rest, and protection from germs. To ensure extraordinary care for our patient, Covenant prohibits entry into the hospital to hunt for Pokemon. Our security department and the local police have been alerted to this situation. We hope parents help children understand the seriousness of this issue and only allow children to enter Covenant facilities when they are appropriately visiting patients.

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