The hit new mobile app Pokémon Go has become a nationwide sensation, and Marietta is no exception, as more than 500 players roamed the downtown square on Thursday evening, leading to at least one instance of property damage.
CBS 46 reports that a Facebook post inspired many players to come to downtown Marietta in search of the fictional creatures that are the basis of a popular trading card game, a TV show, multiple video games, and the newest installment, a real-life scavenger hunt for the virtual Pokémon that uses the GPS on one’s smartphone.
A few players became careless and even rowdy while searching, however. One man climbed a street lamp looking for Pokémon, falling off in the process and breaking the light.
The man wasn’t injured and, according to Marietta Police Officer Brittany Wallace, never alerted police about the incident. The damage was discovered by law enforcement Friday morning.
Player Grant Chastain, who was in downtown Marietta Thursday night, told CBS that police cited many individuals for illegally crossing the street in search of Pokémon.
“I did see a police officer writing some jaywalking tickets, which is probably the right thing to do because when these guys scream, ‘Pokémon,’ it’s like a mob running down the street,” he said.
Still, not all players are happy with the rambunctious behavior exhibited by some of their counterparts.
“What it does is give us all a bad name, makes it look like a bad thing, when in fact, this game has been really cool and caused a lot of cool situations, brought a lot of people together, so it’s very frustrating for the rest of us,” said Emily Peoples, a local Pokémon Go player.
The game has caught fire across the country since its release on July 6. Over 15 million people have downloaded the app, and Google Finance reports that stock for Nintendo, the maker of Pokémon games, has jumped 13,000 points since the release.
Additionally, many outlets, such as Forbes Magazine, have pointed out Pokémon Go’s unique benefits for a video game, including its encouragement of physical exercise, spending time outdoors, and face-to-face interaction with other players.