According to an article in curbed.com, Pokémon Go is transforming millions of people’s relationships to where they live, including those who reside right here in Santa Barbara. How? By getting thousands of young people out and about, checking out our fine city. Without any city financial investments, Pokémon Go has neighbors meeting one another, discovering our amazing architecture, our parks, beaches and more. This type of activity represents the kind of civic engagement usually tied to realizing well-funded improvements.
For those that don’t yet know about the mobile app game, Pokémon Go players create an avatar and search for, capture and train characters. Because of the active vignettes of this video game, locals are getting to know their city like never before. The game has been named as the most popular mobile video game in history by survey company SurveyMonkey and is estimated to have as many as 21 million daily active users in the United States.
Here in Santa Barbara, if you’re near a beach or any body of water, you can catch those types of Pokémon characters, while different characters show up in other places. Avid players say Isla Vista, Stearns Wharf, historical parks and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art are a few hubs where players meet and fling Pokéballs. The characters they’ve seen most often are Ekans, Rattata, Mankey, Zubat and Pidgey, as well as less common ones like Ponyta, Abra, Sandslash, Raticate and Growlithe.
The app also directs users to a specific location to battle one-on-one or join teams at so-called gyms (usually churches). The Pokémon Go craze prompted the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara to ask: “Please don’t trample our garden trying to trample your Bulbasaur.”
According to Santa Barbara Police Department Sgt. Riley Harwood, local safety tips have been issued after a late-night Pokémon Go player returned to his vehicle and found a stranger in it.
“Encountering strangers after nightfall is always a concern,” Harwood said. “Criminals will take advantage of darkness and areas might not be safe. People should also be aware of trespassing after hours.”
If you want to get safely involved, players in our community are using social media to create Facebook groups to unite fans, including a page called “Pokémon Go Santa Barbara.”
While Pokémon Go might be a great way to discover Santa Barbara in general, my website and I are great ways to discover the finest homes for sale in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities. So, please give me a call at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com. I am happy to show you the amazing properties available in Santa Barbara right now. Who knows?! Maybe we’ll catch a Ponyta while touring the fabulous properties!