POKEMON Stop – Stop

“Pokemon, STOP!” is the plea from a San Diego marina. A Pokemon stop is where players of this augmented reality game go to collect Pokemon. As a parent of 16, 18 and 20 year olds, I became aware of the game several months ago, but have not played the game. I have observed the capture of a Pokemon in my living room.
I did little research for this article and like boaters scoffing at the depictions of boating in movies and television shows, Pokemon players can poke fun and poke holes at the facts in this article. Who cares, warning to techies, this is not Mr. Robot.
While driving to a boat in Coronado I noticed a gathering of mostly young people in the grassy median on Orange Avenue. My son / apprentice informed me that this was an intersection of Pokemon stops; the gang of players was oblivious to the passing cars.
When I first noted the sign (above) at the marina I thought they were joking and were actually hosting a Pokemon event. How wrong I was. Turns out the players were a major nuisance.
The Pokemon stop that quickly caused overcrowding issues at the marina is apparently the result of an adjacent park. Niantic Inc. designed this game to be played while walking and thus many of the stops (and gyms) are located at public parks. Most agree this is a positive part of Pokemon Go. Young people actually leaving their dark computer dens and getting outside.
However, sometimes all the players see while outside, are the Pokemon. Just before sunset, at a beachside bluff, two young people arrived, quickly caught their Pokemon and departed just before the sun made a magnificent departure. The youngsters had succeeded in getting out of their digital den, but missed a colorful exhibition of nature and a chance at a green flash.
There are stories of Pokemon players walking off cliffs, perhaps a Darwinian thinning of the herd. Players should be conscious of the inconveniences and impositions caused by their play. They should not trespass, block gates and sidewalks or be unaware of other problems they cause as individuals or groups.
And boaters should be happy these young people are outside, walking around and socializing. Perhaps we should take a cue from the Pokemon Go players and leave the house, go to our boats, untie the lines and enjoy the great outdoors. In the words of a famous Southern Californian, “Why can’t we all just get along?” Pokemon Go is a fad which is already fading. The troubles at the marina have abated; the players and boaters are learning to co-exist.