Navajo Nation might have undiscovered Pokémon

GALLUP

A video game that actually gets people outside to meet each other and explore their surroundings might not be working the same on the Navajo Nation as it does elsewhere.

Can you find video game players – they call themselves gamers – sitting inside, eating potato chips, chugging Mountain Dew, and staring at the television? Maybe, but that isn’t all there is to it these days. A genre of video games called “exergaming” gets gamers moving and in some cases grooving.

Exergaming generally tracks motion to let players interact with the game by actually moving. For video game developer Niantic, a company spinoff from Google, that means getting out to explore the world you live in with games like “Pokémon GO.”

Adventure is on foot,” Chris Kramer, a Niantic spokesperson, said. It’s actually the company’s slogan and they have been making games based on that idea since the 2012 augmented-reality game “Ingress” that encourages players to go out into real-world locations to play. “Pokémon GO” works based on the same idea, but players generally go out to explore their surroundings for creatures called Pokémon.

Earlier this year, Niantic announced at Google Developer Day that the game app had been installed over 650 million times since the release date in 2016. At the same event, Niantic chief technology officer Phil Keslin said players had walked 8.7 billion kilometers playing the game. That’s more than the 7.5 billion kilometers to the former planet Pluto, according to Google Assistant.


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Categories: Life

About Author

Christopher S. Pineo

Reporter Christopher S. Pineo’s beats include education, construction, the executive branch, and pop culture. He also administers the Navajo Times Facebook page. In the diverse neighborhoods of Boston, Pineo worked, earned a master’s in journalism, and gained 10 years of newspaper experience. He can be reached at Chrisp@navajotimes.com.