Day 6

Pokémon GO isn't in Canada yet — but that hasn't stopped Canadians from playing

Pokémon GO has yet to officially land in Canada, but Day 6 is already playing. Producer David Rockne Corrigan takes the hottest new augmented reality game for a test drive and discovers the CN Tower is actually a secret Pokémon gym. Plus, Gizmodo writer Alex Cranz explains why Pokemon GO is taking over the world.
Here Pidgey, Pidgey. (Submitted by Dakota Lloyd)

Pokémon Go is having a moment

Nintendo's augmented reality game is the latest addition to a franchise that first appeared more than 20 years ago. It's been downloaded several million times since last Wednesday and by one measure, it's now the most popular mobile game in United States history, with more than 21 million active daily users.

The game isn't yet (officially) available in Canada, but that didn't stop Day 6 producer David Rockne Corrigan from taking it for a spin.

Day 6 has gotta catch 'em all

CBC Radio Videos

5 years ago
1:52
Day 6's David Rockne Corrigan tries out Pokemon Go, the new augmented reality game for your smartphone that has people walking into poles and even finding love. 1:52

Diving head-first into a phenomenon 

But like many, David didn't know much about Poké Balls, PokéStops, Gyms, Pidgeys or Combat Power

These gamers had their focus firmly on the Pokémon Go quest in Toronto's David Pecaut Square on Monday. (Bruce Reeve/CBC)

So Day 6 asked Alex Cranz, reviews editor for Gizmodo, about the Pokémon phenomenon.

"For the first day or two, it was mainly amongst Pokémon aficionados, but then it rapidly grew," she tells Day 6. "And from Friday through Sunday, it became so huge that when the Japanese stock market opened on Monday morning, Nintendo's stock had risen over 23 per cent… And they earned over $7 billion," says Cranz.

The rise of AR

What makes Pokémon Go such a unique game is that it asks players to go out into the real world to search for Pokémon, and uses 'augmented reality' (AR) to place the user in their actual surroundings as they play.

With would-be Pokémon hunters walking around in public, staring at their phones, you can imagine why the game has already issued a warning for users to be aware of their surroundings as they play.

Pokemon Go online craze has gamers walking around Windsor parks on a virtual hunt. (Laura DaSilva/CBC)

Pokémon Go injuries

Two Quebec City police officers were treated for minor injuries after a Pokémon-playing driver crashed their car into a police cruiser.

And a search for "Pokémon Go injury" on Twitter will show you photographic evidence of the dangers of walking while Pokémon-ing.

Danger aside, the game is getting mostly positive reviews thus far, and it does encourage people to get outside, even if they do it with a phone in their hand.

So was our in-house Poké-Master David Rockne Corrigan able to catch all the Pokémon? Did he get arrested for downloading the game in Canada and breaching its terms of service? Did he get hit by a bus as he stared distractedly at his phone?**

There's only one way to find out.

(**Spoiler: The answer to all of these questions is no. But you should still listen to the segment.)

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