Pokestops, gyms: Pokemon GO comes to Union County
The nationwide phenomenon, Pokemon GO, has been downloaded on millions of mobile devices, including many in Union County.
Pokemon GO is a free game that is downloadable on iPhone and Android devices.
The app uses gps tracking and Google Maps to help the user hunt pokemon, get items and battle other pokemon with friends and competitors.
When the user opens the app, a map appears. They either see just the map itself with their character on it, a wild pokemon, a pokestop or a gym, depending on where the user is.
The pokemon show up on the map at random. The user clicks on it and has to catch it with a pokeball.
Once it is captured, the user can power it up, transfer it for candy or evolve it. The pokemon is then used to battle competitors to gain a gym or to leave at their teams' gym.
A gym is where the users battle each other. Usually, either Team Mystic (blue), Team Valor (red) or Team Instinct (yellow) has control of the gym.
The higher the level, the more pokemon from the same team can be left at the gym to protect it from another team.
If the user's team does not control the gym, they battle with pokemon to gain control.
Gyms are typically located at post offices, fire departments and other buildings.
A pokemon master also needs supplies, which is where pokestops come into play.
Pokestops are usually churches, landmarks and other buildings where the user travels to collects more pokeballs, potions, eggs and more.
There are a number of gyms and pokestops in Union County. Following is a list of some of the locations:
Anna Fire Department, American Legion Memorial, Mount Moriah Lutheran Church, Stinson Memorial Library, Post Office, United Methodist Church and Anna War Memorial.
El Jalepeno, Hindman Park, Troy Sitter Memorial, Gospel Assembly Church, Harvest Church of Southern Illinois, Union County Fair Exhibit Building, Anna City Park, St. Mary's Church, First Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Trinity Lutheran Church, Anna First Baptist Church, First Christian Church, The Lighthouse Church, Church of the Nazarene and Anna VFW.
Jonesboro Fire Department.
Post Office, Jonesboro Roundabout, Jonesboro Salem Lutheran Church, Lincoln Memorial (the app gave historial information about this site), and Jonesboro Public Library.
Cobden Presbyterian Church.
Cobden Branch Library, Cobden Railroad Mural, First Baptist Church of Cobden, Union County Museum, Apostolic Lighthouse United Pentecostal Church and Immanuel Praise and Worship Center.
Players of All Ages
People of all ages are playing the game. Demi Glasco, 17, Amy Glasco, 17, and Kimberly Hancock, 14, were walking around Anna trying to catch 'em all last week and they said they think people will stay on board with the game once the hype dies down.
"It feels more like an adventure," Demi said.
Amy, a member of Team Valor, said, "I grew up with pokemon."
All the girls said they knew people from ages 14 to 27 who play the game.
The circulation coordinator at Stinson Memorial Library, Alexander Linton, said four staff members play and try to keep the gym, located at the library, in Team Mystic's control.
Linton said they've seen more people outside the library, but not much more traffic has come inside. However, those who have come inside like to talk about the game.
"This is a hub because we are a gym and Anna First Baptist Church behind us is a pokestop," Linton said.
The library offers free water and air conditioning for those who want to play.