WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --

    Both have of these games have become phenomenally popular as of recent. I am not a gamer so what I know about both of them you could put in a thimble full of other things I know little or nothing about. I know some or maybe a lot of you think my thimble is overflowing ó no comments please.

    At any rate, both of these games have cluttered the news quite a bit lately. Of course I know the two games are totally different in that Pokemon Go is an app, I believe is downloaded to a smart phone, I donít have one of those yet, perhaps when I no longer am able to navigate getting somewhere still using a large sheet of paper called a map, I might have to get one.

    Nerf War is a game that is actually played using nerf guns mostly outdoors, and is relatively safe to play, and probably similar to paint ball games but safer in most cases. However, this past year there were two cases of teens playing the game in vehicles. In one case two teens were killed while allegedly playing the game when they were in a rollover accident. The other case involved teens playing the game while driving and seriously injuring two other people in a crash, in which the victims were not playing. Felony charges have been brought in the latter case. The remedy for this tragedy is do not play the game in a vehicle!

    I am a little less clear about how Pokemon Go is played. I guess it involves some sort of virtual reality world that is connected with places in the real world through a GPS navigation system. I  guess the object of the game is to capture these wild Pokemons and get points of candies and stardust. If you catch a Pokemon it becomes under the ownership of the player. Of course there are many nuances to the game which I do not know about and really couldnít care less.

    There is an up side to the games, both of them tend to get people out doors although I think Nerf Wars would be better for you as long as you donít do it in moving vehicles.

    Playing Pokemon Go, on the other hand, some medical professionals say it can improve mental and physical health in players. But there is some controversy due to reports of causing accidents and being a public nuisance in some locations.

    It is ironic that the makers of the app Pokemon Go  offer the app as a free down-load and is free to play. It supports in-app purchases of Poke Balls and other items to enhance the players game skills. There also are hardware devices available to assist players in seeking Pokemons. This all translates into big bucks for Nintendo and the Pokemon Company which Nintendo owns a substantial amount of its stock.

    I really donít understand what it is that attracts such huge audiences of players. There are so many better ways to use a lot of free time ó how about volunteering at nursing homes, schools, hospitals, Boy Scouts, 4-H, Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, Lions Clubs, Kiwanis, Womenís Clubs, Loggers, WAV, fire departments, ambulance or first responders. Many of these organizations are in need of new members, why not get involved with your community, you will be richly rewarded for your participation, not monetarily but in lifelong memories.

    Best friend and I were involved, in our earlier years, with over 35 years as Cub and Scout leaders, in Hospital Auxiliary, Jaycees, and Womenís Club. We both have a lot of memories of those experiences that we still fondly remember.

    So get away from your computers, tablets, and  smart phones and do something to help your community to be a better place for all to live in.


Have a great week and do good!