pokemon go

The Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau is hosting a Pokémon Go Meetup Friday, July 15th at 3pm at the Visitors Center in downtown Franklin.

pokemon go
Gamers can use their smart phone’s camera to snap photos of Pokémon, like this.

For those of you who are playing the newest viral game, you understand what this means, but for those of you who don’t, here’s a brief explanation of the Pokémon Go phenomenon.

What is Pokémon Go?

It is a free app that expands on the Pokémon franchise, a 20 year success story including games, cards, movies, TV shows, toys and more. While the first Pokémon games were your usual video games, Pokémon Go requires users to get on their feet and step outside.

At its core, Pokémon has a simple premise: catch all the Pokémon, thus the game’s catchy slogan “Gotta catch’ em all.” In Pokémon Go, as users move around, your smartphone will vibrate to let you know you’re near a Pokémon. Once you’ve encountered a Pokémon, take aim on your smartphone’s touch screen and throw a Poké Ball to catch it.

There are other elements to the game, such as PokéStops, where gamers collect more Poké Balls to aid them in catching more Pokémon. The game also identifies certain landmarks as Gyms, which is a place where gamers can come together and battle their Pokémon against each other.

Why Do So Many People Care?

Pokémon Go has been downloaded over 10 million times. Why? Here’s a brief history on the game and why so many gamers are excited about this new app.


Some serious issues have arisen since Pokémon Go went viral. First, safety has been a concern. WSMV reported on a group of teens in Missouri”conducted multiple armed robberies by targeting their victims through the mobile game. They believe the suspects added a beacon near a Poke-stop in their location, which could lure more players nearby.” Read the whole story here.

pokemon permissionsUsers were also concerned about the app’s privacy police. As reported by Buzzfeed:

“Like most apps that work with the GPS in your smartphone, Pokémon Go can tell a lot of things about you based on your movement as you play: where you go, when you went there, how you got there, how long you stayed, and who else was there. And, like many developers who build those apps, Niantic keeps that information. According to the Pokémon Go privacy policy, Niantic may collect — among other things — your email address, IP address, the web page you were using before logging into Pokémon Go, your username, and your location. And if you use your Google account for sign-in and use an iOS device, unless you specifically revoke it, Niantic has access to your entire Google account.”

If you log in to the game using Google, pay attention to the permissions. After logging in, you will see a screen like the one to the right.

Happy hunting and don’t forget to stop by the Visitor’s Center Friday at 3pm to meet other Pokémon Go gamers. The Visitor’s Center is located at 400 Main Street in downtown Franklin.


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Andrea Hinds
Andrea has always loved the written word. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and a Masters in Creative Writing, both from Belmont University. Both sides of her family have lived in Williamson County for generations, so writing for Williamson Source is the perfect fit. She loves to hear stories of what Williamson County was like when her parents and grandparents were young and to write about this ever evolving county is truly special for her.