Poké­mon re­vivial comes to Ar­gyll as peo­ple hunt down ‘crea­tures’ us­ing smart phones

The Oban Times - - NEWS - SANDY NEIL sneil@oban­times.co.uk

THE world seems to be catch­ing Poké­mon fever again, with many chil­dren – young and old – search­ing Ar­gyll for fic­tional Ja­panese crea­tures on their smart phones.

The Nin­tendo- owned fran­chise Poké­mon, which ex­ploded in pop­u­lar­ity in the late 1990s, is mak­ing a come­back with a free phone app called Poké­mon Go, which was re­leased ear­lier this month.

In just a week, its num­ber of users is on the verge of over­tak­ing Twit­ter on An­droid.

The app uses your phone’s GPS and clock to de­tect when and where you are in the game, and makes the Poké­mon ap­pear around you on your phone screen so you can go and catch them.

De­pend­ing on where you are and what time it is, dif­fer­ent and more types of Poké­mon ap­pear. So far there have been 720 types of ex­otic, pow­er­ful mon­sters that look like rats, snakes, dragons, di­nosaurs, birds, eggs and trees. The idea be­hind the app round an area to catch Poké­mon us­ing in­ter­ac­tion be­tween the game and the real world – known as ‘aug­mented re­al­ity’.

The game seems to have taken Amer­ica by storm, where there are sto­ries of peo­ple hunt­ing down Poké­mon in in­ap­pro­pri­ate places, such as bath­rooms, hospi­tal rooms and even coffins at fu­ner­als.

A New York wo­man also used the app to catch her cheat­ing boyfriend, while po­lice in Mis­souri claimed four sus­pected rob­bers lured in vic­tims with the pos­si­bil­ity of Poké­mon.

How­ever, back in Ar­gyll, 20-yearold Fer­gus Glen from Taynuilt fol­lowed the app to the vil­lage’s Nel­son Mon­u­ment, where he found it busy with Poké­mon hun­ters aged from nine up to adult­hood.

Oban has been fea­tur­ing in the game, too, with 30 peo­ple seen around the town on Tues­day track­ing down the mythical Ja­panese beasts.

Fer­gus Glen said: ‘ I didn’t think any­one else would be look­ing for Poké­mon in Ar­gyll. I was very sur­prised.

‘ It was great fun, and I even saw old pals.’

Poké­mon hun­ters in Oban have been seen hunt­ing down the mythical crea­tures on their smart phones.

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