Pokemon GO sweeps through Coos Bay park

(KCBY photo)

COOS BAY, Ore. -- Pokemon GO is sweeping the nation and in Coos Bay it's taking over Mingus Park.

On any given weeknight, you can find the park crawling with gamers glued to their phones.

For gamers, Pokemon GO is a way to bring their Pokemon characters to life in a virtual reality.

The app serves as a map, showing people where they can find Pokemon, and it turns out Mingus Park is a Pokemon hotspot.

"I usually watch a lot of movies at home, so now when I get home from work I'm like, 'let's go do a couple laps around Mingus and see who's out there and whatnot,'" gamer Levi Green says.

"I've never been back there before yesterday. Went back there and checked it out; gets me outside," adds player Lance Newport.

"We as a health division are excited that people are engaged in some sort of healthy activity. Walking is huge," says health promotion director Eric Gleason.

For some, the app has bridged the generation gap and made the community closer.

"There's, like, no real age barrier,” Green says. “There's way older people and way younger people, and because you guys are all on the same page, it's way easy to talk to each other about it. And so, it's really crazy how it's bringing people together. Like, I can't believe it.”

But gamers are advised to be aware of their surroundings.

"I've heard stories of people so focused on their phone and watching where the Pokemon is located on their phone that they will step out into traffic,” Gleason warns. “Be healthy, get out and walk, just be careful at the same time."

You can download Pokemon GO free on any smart phone.

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