Yes. I have been playing Pokemon Go. Unlike my more savvy friends (other then collecting Pokemon) I had no idea what to do.
I went to a few Pokestops and I figured something would happen but nothing happened. What is the purpose of these and why do people keep mentioning them if they just show me the local church? I asked my friends. Yeah, I had no idea I was supposed to swipe the image. Yup. I was that person. I have yet to go to a Pokegym but I did a long stroll through one of the local parks.
This park happens to have seven to eight Pokestops on the paved walkway and two gyms a bit closer into the park. It's pretty hoping with Pokemon activities.
It's been well established that I have substantial anxiety. Most recently I have started being agoraphobic because of social anxiety. So no matter how badly I want to get back to hiking and going to parks, I remain in my home. No matter how much I would like to go out and see friends, I stay home. Anything I do wind up doing is because I feel incredibly safe with those involved. This would be going to the beach with my friend of nearly half my life, movies with my other friend of the same amount of time, and the retirement party for a coworker (and that did scare me). I am limited in what I feel comfortable doing. I have been on a downward slope since October.
However, as crazy as it may sound, this game got me out to the park. I was out in public by myself. Unless I am shopping, eating, or getting my mail this rarely happens anymore.
The thing is as much as I am scared of people these days, I need people in my life. I know I do. I feel better when I am with people.
This game got me out to the park. I walked a mile and a half while hitting up the Pokestops. I noticed the kids playing but I am so not up for chatting. I mean I made it out, let's not move to talking to strangers just yet (oddly this doesn't usually bother me at conventions). I haven't been to that park in a few years and so much changed. They just keep upgrading this small park. There was a soccer game going on and people doing yoga in the grass on the other end. It was really pretty awesome to not go home after work and crash but walk the park.
I would have stayed and walked more but it was kind of hot and gross. For all the lovely things this park has to offer shade is not one of them. I also did not bring my water bottle with me. Two laps was good for a start. I intend to go back and make it more of a habit. It's good to get out. Plus when playing Pokemon Go I am also rewarded for doing so in the game.
I am not the only person that has experienced a positive mental health reaction to this game. That's pretty great. I know it's not goal of the game but it's doing much more for me then any self help app ever could.
Here's the thing, no matter where you play this game you must pay attention to your surroundings.
There is no excuse for driving and gaming. Don't do it. There is no excuse for walking into traffic while playing this game. Don't do it. At parks, pay attention to where you are going and on paths stay to the side do that runners, bicycles, and other people not playing can easily get by. Don't dart off in any direction without looking first. Definitely do not trespass on people's property.
Be smart and be safe.
On a side note, I want to know who managed to create a Pokestop behind a post office in a gated area for authorized personnel. It's where they keep the trucks. That's just wrong. I have noticed many of the Pokestops by me are random.