HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Huntsville Pokémon players really want to catch ’em all.
The newly-released ‘Pokémon GO’ app is not only making a splash nationally, but also getting people in Huntsville outside to catch Pokémon.
Big Spring Park was filled with nearly 50 people Monday morning — all in the search for Pokémon. Over the weekend, even more gathered to catch new Pokémon and visit the park’s gyms.
The app uses the phone’s GPS to give users a map of where they are. Pokémon characters — like Pikachu, Squirtle and Charmander — pop up as the player walks around.
The Pokémon show up on the player’s camera as if it’s physically in that location. The player aims and swipes up to send a ‘pokéball’ to catch the character.
What people playing Pokémon Go at Big Spring Park see. pic.twitter.com/dTkmbIfHYl
— Drew Galloway (@DrewInHSV) July 10, 2016
Ben Stapleton went alone to the park Monday morning to search for more characters and quickly connected with other players.
“It really promotes being outside and being active,” Stapleton told WHNT. “It’s the closest thing you can get to a real-life video game. Other games are really stationary and you just sit there on your butt and play. This actually gets you to go.”
Another player, Fernando Fernandez, told WHNT the game tracks how far you’ve walked while on the app. He’s logged nearly 11 miles of walking in just three days of playing.
“I haven’t been inside most of my off-time because of this game now,” Fernandez said.
While some of these players remember loving Pokémon trading cards growing up, they say it doesn’t take much to catch on to the new game.
“You don’t have to have a lot of knowledge about the game to have a good time,” Stapleton said. “I’ve been a Pokémon fan literally since I was probably about seven years old.”
Users spend an average of 43 minutes and 23 seconds a day on Pokémon GO, the Associated Press reported. That’s higher than Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger.