Navarre caught up in the Pokemon Go craze

Zachary Hamm is sitting in the grass with his back resting against the outside wall of the restrooms at Navarre Park on a sun-splashed Monday afternoon, his eyes locked on his phone, his mind caught up in the world of the latest phenomenon.

Hamm is asked if he is playing Pokemon Go and his answer is yes. It’s a silly question to ask when you think about it. It’s not as if he’d really be doing something else on his phone, such as texting a friend or scrolling through the latest post on Facebook.

“I’ve been waiting for the release date since it was announced about two years ago,” Hamm said. “I love the game. It brings in every characteristic of the game and it makes you feel like you can do what you did in the (Pokemon) video games.”

Pokemon Go is just over a week old and is already insanely popular, sitting on the cusp of being the most downloaded and top-grossing app in the I-Phone app store. The smartphone game takes augmented reality to another level and is based on the popular Pokemon craze of the late 1990s

Users explore neighborhoods and towns to find virtual Pokemon characters.

“I’ve been everywhere from Pensacola to Fort Walton playing the game,” Hamm said.

The game has become the virtual version of Pringles. Once you start consuming it, you can’t stop.

Take Emily Reitz as an example. She just started playing the game Sunday and was back it on Monday in Navarre Park.

“I’ve easily spent 12 hours playing it in the past two days,” Reitz said.

She isn’t the only one.

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Brandon Jernigan and Vicent Carrillo were out and about Sunday afternoon in Navarre looking to catch Pokemon.

Brandon Jernigan and Vicent Carrillo were out and about Sunday afternoon in Navarre looking to catch Pokemon.

Emily Reitz just started playing Pokemon Go this week and spent Monday in Navarre Park looking for Pokemon to catch. Reitz loves the game because it's a game that keeps people active.

Emily Reitz just started playing Pokemon Go this week and spent Monday in Navarre Park looking for Pokemon to catch. Reitz loves the game because it’s a game that keeps people active.

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