Pokémon Go is here now and millions of people have been inspired to, well, go. Outside that is – even if they are still looking at their phone screens. Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game where players can go outside and catch Pokémon in the real world. It’s been released in several countries after the initial New Zealand launch. Unfortunately it didn’t have a perfect launch, not to mention all the weird news events surrounding the game. Here are some of the weird headlines about Pokémon Go you may have missed while searching for a Pikachu.
1. Someone Found a Dead Body
While looking for a water Pokémon 19 year-old Shayla Wiggins was searching around Riverton, Wyoming. Instead of finding a water Pokémon she found a dead body and called 911. Wiggins never did find that water Pokémon as she had to close the app to call the police.
2. People are Supposedly Using the Social Aspects of the Game to Plan Crimes
One great thing about Pokémon Go is that the game encourages people to go out together to catch Pokémon. Police from O’Fallon, Missouri issued a report saying that four teenagers used the geolocation feature to find unwitting victims they knew would be alone. The suspects were arrested after they allegedly robbed one victim but police reports have suggested that this kind of crime is popping up in several other places in Missouri involving a similar vehicle.
3. People Are Turning up in Strange Places
Pokémon Go players have reported that they’ve found themselves in some weird places thanks to the game. An Australian police station even asked players (trainers) to not actually enter the station. There have also been Pokéstops (where players can receive free items) and Pokémon gyms (where trainers can battle Pokémon) are showing up in strange places such as graveyards, strip clubs, the headquarters of MI5, inside toilets and inside churches. One user was surprised to discover that his house had been designated a gym. At least it explained all the people outside his home!
Niantic, the team behind the game, say that they used locations from an older game they created called Ingress to populate Pokémon Go.
4. Soldiers are Catching Pokémon in ISIS Territory
An ex-US Marine who is currently stationed outside Mosul fighting ISIS shared a screenshot of his Pokémon next to a huge gun, challenging people to battle. We’re not quite sure why Squirtle, a water Pokémon, is hanging out in the desert but it’s not bad at all that soldiers have something they can do during quiet times.
5. The Game has Become More Popular Than Tinder
Pokémon Go may not have been out long and may not have a worldwide release yet but it’s still been downloaded more than Tinder and as of July 2016 has almost surpassed Twitters active userbase even though both of those apps have been around for years. It’s been reported that the app is used on a daily basis by 60% of the people in the US who downloaded it and that people spend an average of 43 minutes a day on it, compared to the 25 minutes a day people spend on Instagram and 23 minutes a day people spend on Snapchat.
6. It’s Free But Still A Cash Cow for Nintendo
Pokémon Go might be free to download but it’s already proven quite lucrative for Nintendo. Forbes reports that the stock of Nintendo rose when the game came out and it had gone up another 25% by July 11th 2016, resulting in $7 billion added to the market value of Nintendo.