HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- You may know by now, Pokemon Go has swept the nation. And consequently... it has completely taken over Huntsville. Friday's Street Food Gathering included 50 lures for Pokemon through the game, thanks to Downtown Huntsville, Inc. and Curse, Inc. Food trucks and local businesses also offered discounts for players.
People of all ages are playing Pokemon Go, and you can find them at one of Huntsville's most central locations, Big Spring Park.
"In Huntsville, there's a crazy amount of [Pokemon] gyms around," Stephen Sparkman explained. Sparkman is the creator of the Video Gamers of Huntsville group. He noted that people have even gone as far as to create this collaborative map of Huntsville PokeStops. The interest here is high.
Some, like Ethan Stallings, are in it for the nostalgia. "I'm kind of reliving my childhood," he explained, "because I played Pokemon as a kid."
But all this game time can be costly. Even if you get away without in-app purchases, it can drain your battery pretty fast. Sparkman recommends you use battery saver mode if you'll be playing for a while.
"As soon as you turn the phone upside down and put it in your pocket, it's still active and it'll still search for Pokemon as they come up," he explained. "If one comes up, your phone vibrates."
He said it's also an equally important tool for safety. Instead of wandering across busy roads, he recommends you turn on battery saver mode so you feel a vibration if there's a monster nearby. This allows you to not have to be looking at your when you should be focusing on walking.
That's not the only option you have to save precious battery life. Some gamers tell WHNT News 19 they use a portable charger to help when their phone is dying.
"You can also turn off augmented reality, so you aren't using your camera, and that saves battery as well," Matthew Julian commented .
"The game also eats up some of your data plan," Sparkman said. He, like many other users, does not have unlimited data. He said he tries to find public wifi whenever he can, and whenever it's safe to use. Big Spring Park and other places including area businesses and some restaurants have free wifi.
"I do a lot of wifi hopping," he said.
Julian said sometimes wifi can be difficult with the game, though, because if the signal isn't strong enough you might miss out on catching a Pokemon you're after when the app stops loading.
It's clear the Pokemon, and the players who flock to find them, have taken over. But is that something that's going to last? Or is this game something in which players will lose interest over time?
"I think it's got staying power," Sparkman said . "It's very simplistic. There is a little depth to it... As for me, I'm looking at different landmarks in Huntsville in a different way now. It's like, 'Oh, let me go here, I've never been over there. I better check that out.'"
"I think it'll be around for a while as long as they keep the updates rolling out," Julian added .
Despite the safety concerns and warnings from local police, these players don't seem concerned. They said they're staying aware while playing, and are only interested in a good time while viewing the community in a new light.
Have a first-hand look at the food truck gathering where hundreds of people were catching them all!