It’s new and it is exciting, especially if you are a fan on Pokémon.
Pokémon Go is a so-called “Augmented Reality” game that has exploded in popularity in the U.S. and several countries around the world.
“It is ridiculous. It’s a huge sensation,” Pokémon Go player Jacky Heshi said.
In Canada, the game isn’t really available, but people are finding ways to get the game ahead of the official launch north of the border.
READ MORE: Here’s how Canadians are playing ‘Pokémon Go
The app has users wander around collecting Pokémon characters that appear at Poke stops. You can then use your characters to battle other players. The poke stops are local landmarks like the library in Burnaby where it’s easy to spot players.
Unlike other video games, this one forces you to leave home and walk around.
“I’m a software engineer. I’ve walked 10 kilometres today trying to hatch eggs and stuff,” one user said.
But there are dangers. In Missouri, it’s alleged some suspects lured game players to a location and robbed them.
“You are not using a different character and working them through a world, you are catching Pokémon for real,” John Millsip at Triple Play Sports & Games in Victoria said.
Well, maybe not real.
And pick your transportation carefully. Speed is an issue.
“There is a speed limit on this so you can’t drive,” Heshi said. “So if it reaches, I think, 15 miles per hour, it won’t register your walking distance so you have to be running, walking or cycling.”
Vancouver Police have now officially issued a warning about people playing Pokemon Go in the city.
In a statement they said they “have received reports of large groups of people seen gathering in parks and on city streets and other public areas, at all hours of the day and night.”
The groups appear to be searching for something, many holding cell phones in their air, while others appear to be in a zombie-like state, eyes glued to their phones, as they walk down the street or ride their bikes and skateboards.”
Police want to remind parents to talk to their kids about safety tips while on the hunt for Pokemon.
- Look up – be aware of your surroundings. Are you about to step into traffic? Are you going to crash into someone or something? You could end more than just your game.
- It is very easy for any stranger to know your gathering spots. Make sure you go with a group, and that younger kids tell parents or another adult where they’re going.
- Say no to distracted game playing – don’t play while riding your bike, skateboard, scooter, or while driving.
- Vancouver has lots of public space. Don’t go on or in private property.