Sanford’s Endor Trail Greenway was busier than usual Sunday night, populated by mostly teenage boys more occupied with their phones than the natural beauty around them.

The Pokemon Go phenomenon is everywhere, and Sanford seems to be full of the animé critters and their assorted Pokestops and Pokegyms.

poke2Depot Park, Java Express and painted benches in downtown Sanford. Kiwanis Children’s Park. San Lee Park. The Elks Club. The aforementioned Greenway.

Pokemon. Pokemon. Pokemon.

Some of you already know this. Some of you are vaguely aware of what we’re talking about. The rest of you stopped reading at “Pokemon.” So what is it?

Pokemon Go is a “real world adventure” that uses GPS and “augmented reality” to allow you to hunt and train Pokemon characters (they’ve been around in card, animé, video game and cartoon form for about 20 years). The game requires you to get outdoors and search your neighborhoods, cities and other areas and use your cell phone or tablet camera technology to make your discoveries. The characters will appear on your camera as if they’re actually in front of you. When you find them, then you throw balls at them or something. Or you fight them … we honestly don’t know. That we’ve told you this much is a minor miracle.

What we do know is it’s getting people out and about. Social media is full of photos from local parks and downtown Sanford pinpointing new finds. Downtown Sanford Incorporated has jumped on the bandwagon and is offering a dozen donuts for downtown players

Sara Harrington of Sanford posted photos from over the weekend playing the app with a 12-year-old friend of the family. “We walked two-and-a-half miles more than we would have, and I doubt we would have gone to San Lee Park and Kiwanis Children’s Park yesterday if it weren’t for this game,” she said. 

Nobody here has found a dead body, been mugged or been led to a strip club yet, so … so far, so good, Sanford.

Keep on, Pokemon-ing. Go catch ’em all.

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