Never mind the new cabinet, Brexit or whatever our new mayor’s up to, for some people the biggest news right now will be that Pokemon Go is available to download in the UK from today. You might not ever have attempted to catch imaginary monsters to train them to fight before – I certainly never had, here’s a handy introduction – but you will likely know someone who will be very keen to hit the streets of SE7, smartphone in hand, to collect as many creatures as possible.
In brief, Pokemon Go is an ‘augmented reality’ game: using the GPS tracker in your smartphone, you need to walk to pre-defined places in the real world to find things and meet goals in the game. We downloaded the free app, took a walk, and found that Charlton has its share of monsters and other landmarks.
You might have younger kids who want to play but you’re concerned about letting them loose on their own – the NSPCC has concerns about the game being played by unaccompanied children, for example.
We thought it might be helpful if you could decide a bit more about what the game entails before you make decisions about your kids playing, so we had half an hour’s wander around the Village, Charlton Park and Charlton Church Lane, and this map (obvious spoilers there for older Pokemon trainers) shows what we found.
There are a couple of things for Charlton parents and players to be wary of: one Pokemon gym can be found at the rope sculpture on the corner of Woolwich Road and Anchor & Hope Lane, next to the busiest road crossing in Charlton.
When I was wandering around there were a couple of Pokemon to be found on a private road near Charlton Park, and I really didn’t feel comfortable loitering near a block of flats doing something that looked like I might be taking photos with my phone so I had to let those ones go.
On the other hand, if you do decide to make a family outing out of a monster hunt, it might be useful to know that the White Swan is a Pokestop.
Have you played it? Have you found other things to be found around here that you can share with the rest of us? Is there a Pokemon Gym outside your front door? Let us know in the comments.