The Pokémon Go craze is still going. The hit smartphone game lets players catch and collect virtual creatures. The game is also rewarding players with a healthier lifestyle.
In just about every park in Boise, you will find not just people, but Pokémon trainers. From tykes, to teens and twenty-somethings, they are out to catch them all. Them, of course, being virtual creatures on their phones. The game rewards players by encouraging them get off the couch and explore the real world. This gamification is something both parents and players love.
"It's nice to be bugged by your kids," said one parent of one trainer. "Hey can we go for a walk? Can we go for a walk? Can we go for a walk?"
"It's summertime. It's beautiful right now. A lot better than sitting inside doing nothing," said another parent.
Poke-trainers are pushing their pedometers to the max to catch the pixilated pocket monsters. Many are walking miles to catch the rarest and strongest of them all.
"I started at the library. Then, I curved around and went to cross the bridge to BSU," explained one Pokémon trainer. "I walked around campus and then went to cross the bridge again, went behind the zoo and then right to where we are right now. About five hours of walking around downtown Boise."
"12,000 steps. Normally I think I take less than 5,000 each day," said another Pokémon trainer.
But Pokémon Go is not just helping players physically by burning calories, but also mentally. Players say the game is making them more social. They are not just going outside; they are meeting other people with a common interest -- Pokémon.
"She's (her daughter) autistic so it gives her something to talk to her peers about a little bit more. It gives her a chance to be at the same level as some of the other kids her age," explained one parent.
"It's been a great thing to have them go outside meeting new people and getting excited about something that's a Big worldwide phenomenon," said another parent.
Parents say they also want to remind players to be aware of their surroundings while playing.