Pokemon Go has Calgary gamers outside trespassing, talking to strangers

The Nintendo game for smartphones is luring hordes of gamers away from their consoles to the streets of Calgary to catch Pikachu and Squirtle.

Twitter documents gamers venturing outside to catch Pikachu even though game not yet officially in Canada

Pokemon Go has gamers leaving their Nintendo consoles behind to seek out pocket monsters on the streets of Calgary. (Toru Yamanka/AFP/Getty Images)

The smartphone game Pokemon Go is luring hordes of gamers away from their Nintendo consoles to the streets of Calgary.

It's even getting a few youngsters in a bit of trouble with the law, as seen in the following tweet from Calgary police about three youth caught trespassing.

"You can see who are the ones playing. Like they are wandering around with their phones on their faces," said Jonny Chin, 25.

From Chicken on the Way to Prince's Island park, Calgarians are on a mission to catch adorable creatures from the Pokemon world, like Pikachu and Squirtle.

Calgarians play Pokemon Go on Prince's Island. (@DaleCalkins/Twitter)
'This game really, really brings a lot of strangers together,' said Calgary Pokemon Go player, Jonny Chin. (@DaleCalkins/Twitter)

"This game really, really brings a lot of strangers together. I've like had so many conversations with random people," said Chin.

How it works

The Nintendo app uses Google Maps and the camera on your smartphone to help you track down and catch the pocket monsters, which could be hiding in trees, parks and other cityscapes.

Once you nab them, you can train them to battle each other.

"The phone looks like it's looking at reality and then it's placing someone's favourite Pokemon on top of it and it looks like it's in the real world," said Katy Anderson, a Calgary-based digital rights advocate with OpenMedia.

According to Twitter, Pokemon Go pandemonium is in full force in Calgary. There's even a map that tracks all the spots gamers are capturing the critters.

"Because everyone's playing it and posting photos and talking about it, you've got this big bandwagon effect going on, as well as nostalgia," said Anderson.

  • Do you play Pokemon Go? Where, when and why? Leave your comments below.

"Millennials love the '90s and so many played Pokemon when they were young, so it just reminds them of being small and playing games."

The game has only been released in Australia, New Zealand and the States, but Canadians are able to play by creating a new U.S. iTunes account.

Chin found an even easier solution.

"In my case, I logged into my second cousin's account in Kansas to download it," said Chin.

The Eyeopener's Atiba Nelson tags along with a local Pokemon Go player and hunts for Pokemon in downtown Calgary.


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