Pokemon Go: New Zealand man quits job to ‘catch ’em all’ full-time

Tom Currie has become the world's first "Pokémon trainer." He quit his job and plans to spend the next two months playing the game full-time. Tom Currie, Facbook

A 24-year-old has refused to let work get in the way of playing Pokemon Go. So he quit.

Tom Currie will dedicate the next two months of his life to “live [the] dream” — i.e. play the game full-time.

He ditched his job serving drinks at an Auckland-area restaurant to pursue his new passion. And his parents fully support the now-viral decision.

“My dad sent through a text message saying he always knew I would be famous,” Currie said to the BBC.

“Tom is a very spur-of-the-moment, independent kid, he always has been,” his mom Tania Dobbs told The Guardian.

“His nana and I don’t understand the game but I remember him loving it in his childhood.”

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Pokemon Go combines geocaching and virtual reality to allow users to hunt for mythical monsters known as Pokemon in the real world.

The creatures appear onscreen when users hold up their smartphones in various locations at various times of the day.

READ MORE: Pokemon Go users find everything from dates to dead bodies

Currie plans to travel around his country to capture the game’s 151 Pokemon, of which he’s already caught more than 90.

The feat hasn’t come easy. He’s put in long hours on his new job, Pokemon hunting until 3 a.m. at times.

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His dedication has earned him messages of support from around the globe, including Canada.

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It’s also earned him offers of help to “catch ’em all” from transport companies willing to take him to remote parts of New Zealand. He’s been getting around by bus so far.

The sightseeing has been the best part of his adventure, he told the BBC.

“I get to walk around and explore towns I’ve never been to,” Currie said. “I have been meeting heaps of people, tourists travelling the country and other Pokemon trainers at the small (sometimes huge) public gatherings.

“When you and your friends have to physically go for a walk or run to catch a rare Pokemon in the area and you all catch it, that is definitely a highlight.”

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The augmented-reality game launched in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Japan earlier this month.

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Canadian prospective Pokemon trainers had to get creative with workarounds until the game officially became available here on Sunday afternoon.

READ MORE: Here’s how Canadians are playing ‘Pokemon Go’

The demand crashed the app’s servers.

In its short existence, the game has been installed on more Android smartphones in the U.S. than the dating app Tinder, according to data from SimilarWeb.

Americans also spend more time on it than popular apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger.

Of course, not everyone’s a fan.

A Vancouver man’s anti-Pokemon Go rant went viral over the weekend after he wrote a note that said: “This whole Pokemon hunt is by far the stupidest thing I have ever seen.”

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WATCH: Pokemon Go backlash and safety concerns

He then listed other things he’s lived through, including: Hammer Pants, Crystal Pepsi, “people taking Jean Chretien seriously,” and the entire 10-season duration of CSI: Miami.


“There is a bar up the street, and around the corner. Go there, have a beer, and seriously think about your life choices.”

Or just hunt responsibly. There have been loads of reports of people getting hurt in their Pokemon quests.

It’s prompted Russia’s biggest bank to offer free insurance in the event of injury while using the app. U.S. officials, meanwhile, have taken to Twitter with this plea: “No Pokemoning from behind the wheel.”

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READ MORE: Pokemon Go players can now hire a chauffeur in Vancouver

Pokemon Go from your pregnant wife’s hospital room at your own risk.

With files from Nicole Bogart, Justin McElroy and Rebecca Joseph, Global News; and The Canadian Press

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