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‘Pokemon Go’ craze

The smart phone game “Pokemon Go” launched on July 06 in the US, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, and has become a giant hit in just over a week. Game developers around the world watched in astonishment as the “augmented reality” game based on the 1990’s Japanese franchise surged to the top of Apple Inc.’s app charts. The games are now available in more than 40 countries around the world.

The game re-creates Pokemon’s underlying story of players scouring the world in search of “pocket monsters” to capture, train, battle and exchange with each other. App users are encouraged to wander their own surroundings to find and capture virtual Pokemon characters such as the cuddly yellow Pikachu and Squirtle using location tracking on their smartphones. Reports have already surfaced of players taking road trips and even renting boats to get to hard-to-reach destinations in pursuit of virtual Pokemon.

In case you are not familiar with Pokemon, they are creatures inspired by plants, animals and various other things.

Each one has different attributes, skills and quirks; they also can evolve into newer, stronger Pokémon with some training. In Pokémon Go, the ultimate goal is to collect them – a few hundreds of them – to add to your personal collection. Doing so makes you a Pokémon master. To get those Pokemon, you’ll have to actually get up off the couch and head outside. It gets you out of the house and into the outdoors. Keep walking around outside in order to find a Pokémon to use in the game.

Police warned players to be aware of their surroundings and to play with friends when going to new or unfamiliar places. Police say the robbers used the game to lure victims by putting a “beacon” at a spot, and then robbed them.

There were also reports of players’ injuries and mishaps since their eyes were glued to their smartphone screens.
(Floro Mercene)