Don't worry, there is definitely not a zombie plague sweeping the nation. Those folks walking around, eyed glued to their phones and occasionally looking around frantically are probably playing the viral gaming sensation "Pokemon Go." On top of catching all the coolest Pokemon, those players might also be searching for a "Pokemon Go" gym. It turns out, in the world of "Pokemon Go," gyms are a little tricky to define but once you figure it out, they'll soon become one of the biggest draws for playing the game. Why? Because gyms are literal hubs of activity, where players of the augmented reality gaming sensation can gather not only in the "Pokemon Go" world but also in real life. In a "Pokemon Go" gym, you can not only train your (probably) one million freshly-caught Pokemon, you can battle for control of a gym with them, too.
Basically, "Pokemon Go" gyms are life and you need to know everything about them. They will be the lifeblood of your gameplay. They will help keep you goal-oriented during your adventures. They will also act as genuine hubs for the growing "Pokemon Go" community and that's especially groovy when you consider that it's a rare thing to meet like-minded people while actively playing a new video game. Here's the scoop:
Step One: Level Up
You have to make sure to get to Level 5 before you can go anywhere near a gym. You'll also need to choose a team (more on that in a sec). So, you better start driving, walking and flying all over this lovely nation of ours to catch as many Pokemon as possible to get there! #GetThatLevel5Status
Step Two: Choosing A Team Means Choosing A Gym
With leveling up comes great responsibility. When you reach Level 5, you'll have to choose between joining Team Mystic, Team Instinct or Team Valor. If you've spent years taking quizzes on which Hogwarts house you're most likely to be in, then your instincts will be finely tuned for this moment. Make sure to choose wisely because once you choose a team, you can only go to specific gyms.
Step Three: Find Your Gym
Once you've leveled up, make sure to search out the nearest gym. As Forbes's Dave Thier explains, these are pretty easy to spot because gyms are marked as yellow-white pyramids with light shooting out of them. In real life, these will gyms are marked by real-life hotspots like parks and malls.
Step Four: Battle For Your Gym
If you find a gym that is not part of your team's network, you can battle it out to take control. Make sure you're thoroughly prepared though. Without guts, there can be no glory.
Think you're ready to really go for the "Pokemon Go" gold? Then hop to it, folks. I salute you.