Leave the Scavenger Hunt Thing to the Pros (Us!)
Packs of teenagers roam the streets day and night, taking prisoners and looting buildings and landmarks. Otherwise sane people act like zombies, stepping into traffic and walking off cliffs. Battles rage in cemeteries, police stations, and churches all over the country.
No, this isn’t some post-apocalyptic dystopia. This is the world on Pokemon Go, the wildly popular new smartphone app that essentially turns your neighborhood into a virtual scavenger hunt for colorful monsters. As the leader in scavenger hunts for 16 years, we have a lot of experience avoiding the kind of pitfalls (sometimes literal?) that have bedeviled Pokemon Go players since the game hit the U.S. like a Machamp on steroids.
Wait, what the heck is Pokemon Go?
In case you’ve missed it, Nintendo’s newest take on its 20-year-old video game franchise hit smartphones in the U.S. and a few other countries a little more than a week ago.
The GPS-based game turns the player’s neighborhood into the game world, with streets, rivers, parks, and buildings showing up as virtual versions of themselves. Some landmarks, like churches, become Pokestops (where players can get free items) or Pokemon Gyms (where players can battle other players’ Pokemon).
The main thrust of the game is, naturally, catching them all. As players walk around their neighborhood, Pokemon will appear nearby. When one appears, you try to catch it by flicking Pokeballs at it. The game shows you what sorts of Pokemon might be lurking nearby, and it’s up to you to find them, and you can do it alone or with friends. It really is a video game scavenger hunt.
Why is it so popular?
For some, it’s nostalgia for a game or cartoon they grew up with. For others, it’s the cute digital creatures you can collect. For a few, it’s the opportunity to break out of their shell or have fun while exercising. There’s also the thrill of the (scavenger) hunt, a feeling we totally understand. And for a lot of people, it’s the allure of the cool new thing everyone’s talking about.
Why is it a problem?
Well, see, it’s a smartphone game that encourages you to walk everywhere, to explore everywhere…while staring at, or at least repeatedly checking, your phone. The game even warns you to be mindful of your surroundings, but when you’re on the hunt for Pikachu, common sense need not always apply. No, seriously:
- Two men walked off a cliff in California while playing Pokemon Go
- People are crashing their cars into trees or getting run over while playing Pokemon Go
- Someone played Pokemon Go at a funeral, and another played while his wife was in labor
- A Florida man shot at a couple of teenagers playing Pokemon Go in front of his house
- NYC is full of bad places to catch Pokemon, including drug dens and the entrance to Rikers Island prison
- People were catching so many Pokemon at the Holocaust Museum that the museum had to ask them to cut it out
- Players have stumbled upon multiple dead bodies while out hunting Pokemon
We know, right? Someone really dropped the Pokeball on this one. Scavenger hunts are serious business—we should know, having run a million of them (not an exact count) all over the country. There’s more to it than you might think, from picking the right locations to planning for any contingency. We do the thinking and the preparing so your adventure is fun, smart, and safe. You taking notes, Nintendo?
Now excuse us, there’s a Meowth in the office! Get ’im!
I choose you, fun!
For public scavenger hunts in seven cities around the country, visit the Public Hunt schedule. To ask us about arranging a private scavenger hunt hunt for your group, contact us online or at 877-946-4868, extension 11.