Entertainment

People in Boston are obsessed with Pokemon Go

It's kind of insane.

Pokemon Go.

Does it seem like way more people than usual are staring into their phones? Have you seen roving packs of teenagers holding their cells up outside seemingly innocuous landmarks like a church or fire station? You’re witnessing the Pokemon Go effect, and it’s taking the nation — and the Boston area — by storm.

Childhood dream realized #pokemongo

A post shared by Andrew Gettings (@andyrue11) on

Pokemon Go is a new mobile game that uses augmented reality to let players catch Pokemon — the wildly popular cartoon creatures that first appeared in video games, TV shows, and movies during the late ‘90s — in real-life locations. The app generates Pikachus, Charmanders, and Squirtles for players to catch as they walk around their neighborhood, with landmarks like churches, academic buildings, and police stations serving as meeting points known in the game as gyms where players can do battle.

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The game’s popularity isn’t just anecdotal. It launched July 6, and it’s currently the most popular free app and the top grossing app in Apple’s App Store. According to a survey of Android users by SimilarWeb, Pokemon Go has been downloaded twice as many times as popular dating app Tinder, and will soon have more daily active users than Twitter. Boston in particular seems to have caught the Pokemon bug — as noted by The Boston Globe, Boston is second in a city-by-city ranking of Google searches for the term “Pokemon Go” behind only Detroit.

Whether they’re playing on the T…

Or just having fun outside…

People are downright obsessed with Pokemon Go.

The game isn’t just for the younger set, though. It’s bringing people of all ages together.

Some people are even learning things while playing.

It’s not just about catching Pokemon for yourself, either. According to a Reddit post, people have continued to set lures (an in-game item available for purchase that draws Pokemon to a certain spot) at both Brigham and Women’s and Boston Children’s Hospital.

“It’s just nice to see that the lures keep getting placed so the kids in the hospital can still play the game, Reddit user Wickedcoddah wrote. “Kids that can’t go outside still have a chance.”

In a less endearing (but still amusing) use of the game, someone reported a Pokemon sighting to the Boston 311 mobile app, usually reserved for potholes or parking violations.

If you’re going to play, just remember to heed the game’s frequent warning: Be alert at all times.

Otherwise you might end up like this guy.

https://twitter.com/gregmurphy/status/752262807656292353

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