Several countries have been captured by the charm of the recently released Pokemon GO. The new game’s App Store and Google Play Store rankings soared to the top spot in just a matter of days. Someone from the White House appears to be thrilled as well with the game.
Several Reddit users pointed out that there are Pokemon Gyms at the White House and the Pentagon. Was it a janitor or a member of the security force responsible for the Gym? Some speculated that it could be President Barack or “Brock” Obama himself.
The original Nintendo video game rose to fame in the 1990s. Players are referred to as Pokemon trainers, whose task is to catch and train fictional monsters.
In the latest incarnation, gamers walk around searching for digital landmarks situated at real locations. The goal is to catch varying kinds of Pokemon by exploring and checking into actual spots. There are some spots called Gyms that entail interaction with a human player.
To make things more exciting, game developer Niantic revealed that players would soon have the capability to trade prized catches with fellow Pokemon GO trainers.
CEO John Hanke told Business Insider that they would introduce the “core element” soon to rekindle the players’ glorious Gameboy days. While he did not divulge details, the new feature would aim to foster real-world interactions among the players.
Even if Pokemon GO promises adventure, authorities continue to warn players to be careful. In Australia, the Darwin Police Station is listed as a Pokestop where players can encounter new Pokemon. The police station’s Facebook page reminds players to be mindful of the passing traffic.
“For those budding Pokemon Trainers out there using Pokemon GO – whilst the Darwin Police Station may feature as a Pokestop, please be advised that you don’t actually have to step inside in order to gain the pokeballs. It’s also a good idea to look up, away from your phone and both ways before crossing the street. That Sandshrew isn’t going anywhere fast. Stay safe and catch ’em all!”
Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said that Pokemon GO is taking “people’s attention away from trams and traffic.” He understands that the game is addictive, but looking at the phone while on a crowded street is not a good idea.
Meanwhile, a Wyoming teenager discovered a dead man’s body while playing Pokemon GO. Shayla Wiggins was trying to catch a Pokemon from a “natural water resource” when she spotted a body floating in the Wind River. The 19-year-old then called the authorities to report her sighting.
Bizarre stories about Pokemon GO and its players will continue to emerge since the game is not yet out in most countries. The developer promises that it’s doing its best to make the game available for everyone.
Mobile phone users are advised not to download and install suspicious-looking Pokemon GO versions from third-party sources. Security firm Proofpoint recently discovered that a certain version of the game contains a remote access tool called the Droidjack that allows hackers to take “full control of a victim’s phone.”
“Cybercriminals can take advantage of the popularity of applications like Pokemon GO to trick users into installing malware on their devices. Bottom line, just because you can get the latest software on your device does not mean that you should. Instead, downloading available applications from legitimate app stores is the best way to avoid compromising your device and the networks it accesses.”
Pokemon GO is currently available in Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S.
[Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images]