Pokemon GO comes to Guymon, but be mindful of ordinances

April Coble
Staff Writer

It's one of the big news stories this week, whether you're excited for it, tired of it, or indifferent to the whole conversation. This past weekend, Nintendo and Niantic released Pokemon GO for iPhone and Android. With over $7 billion made during its maiden voyage, the app has set off with a strong start.

Pokemon GO is a unique game app with appeal for both young and old alike, bringing Americans of all walks of life together to capture imaginary pets in a mobile device virtual environment that resembles the world around them. Maps of towns with major landmarks as stops and training "gyms" give out items needed in game and allow players to battle their new pets against each other.

This goes on during all hours of the day and night. During the summer months, especially in the panhandle, players are opting to go out in the evenings, with some going until the wee hours of the morning, trying to "catch them all".

It is getting a lot of people out to walk more, since the game is geared for the slower pace of walking if you want to catch more Pokemon, and hatching eggs requires players to move slower than 20 MPH in order to get them to hatch in their incubators. Pokestops have a special feature called a "lure module" that draws more of the creatures to the location for 30 minutes - and this draws players to the location as well. In Guymon, these spots include parks, churches, the library, and even our familiar water tower on Crumley. It's getting mobile gamers out and walking, as well as causing people to meet and make new friends.

"My friends and I catch Pokemon together all day and night," Guymon High School student Kaylee Rogers said. "The group I started has helped other people meet up at locations, and that's pretty cool."

It does more, too. Based on Google data and data from another Niantic app, Ingress, it can also lead players on an adventure both at home and away from home.

"(I like) that it is based on Ingress and Google data, which is great for sightseeing when out of town as well," Nick Tuttle said.

Ismael Carrillo is visiting Houston this week, and says he made some new friends.

"We both took our kids there to play while we catch Pokemon," Carrillo said. "It's crazy how many of my generation with kids and all come out to play."

While you're out and around town during those dark hours, there are city ordinances and rules you should be aware of.

There is a curfew for minors in the City of Guymon. From Sunday through Thursday, minors are to be at home or with a legal guardian over the age of 21 from 10:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. On Friday and Saturday, that time is extended to midnight, but minors must be with a guardian between midnight and 6 a.m. if they're out and about. 2 a.m. forays to the park are not permitted within the city without a parent or guardian. If a minor is caught out past curfew, the parent receives a citation.

Per ordinance Section 10-413, "public place means any street, alley, highway, sidewalk, park, playground or place to which the general public has access and a right to resort for business, entertainment or other lawful purpose. A public place shall include, but not be limited to, any store, shop, restaurant, tavern, bowling alley, cafe, theater, drug store, pool room, shopping center and any other place devoted to amusement or entertainment of the general public. It shall also include the front or immediate area of the above."

For those over the age of 18, parks and public places don't close. However, that doesn't mean unrestricted.

"The parks don't close," Guymon Police Department Detective Lieutenant Jason Bond said. "Not saying that we won't show up and ask you to leave because of the time."

For those ghost types that pop up after dark and around cemeteries? You have more to beware than specters that come out at night. The cemetery closes at dusk and the gates are closed. Once the gates are closed, entrance to the cemetery becomes trespassing.

When it comes to playing? Stay aware and be respectful of public and private spaces. Stop and look both ways before crossing the street, don't play while driving, and avoid entering private property. Remember the rules we learn for nature trails - leave as little of you behind as possible - put trash in appropriate receptacles, respect the equipment provided at park areas, and share the area. It is set out for everyone to enjoy.

Other readers have responded with their favorite aspects of Pokemon GO:

"It has gotten me back out walking and jogging. It also gives me and my teen daughter something else to do together. I think it is good, clean fun for our youth," Cassandra Mussman said.

"It makes Guymon a little more fun," Jayson Coleman added. "It gives people the want to go and explore our town and make new friends."

Kaeli Robbins says it motivates her and her friends to actually get up and out of the house, "instead of just staying in all day and doing nothing productive with our summer."

"It has made summer more exciting," Robbins said.

Zinnia Perriera says she likes that she and her husband can play together.

"He also makes sure the trash is taken out more so he can go outside," Perriera said.