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HOTTEST GAME: 'POKEMON GO' DIGITAL POPULARITY IS ALSO WARPING REAL LIFE


JULY 13 -In this Monday, July 11, 2016, photo provided by Huge shows Pokemon Go players stopping outside the Huge Cafe in downtown Atlanta, Ga., in search of digital monsters. The cafe owner noticed it was between two "Pokestops" and paid $40 in real world money to attach lures to them to increase the odds of players finding rare monsters like the "Starmie" and "Poliwag" nearby. Businesses are using the game, released in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand last week, to advertise products or services. AP/Brinson McGowan/Huge
LOS ANGELES, The Pokemon Go craze has sent legions of players hiking around cities and battling with "pocket monsters" on their smartphones. It marks a turning point for augmented reality, or technology that superimposes a digital facade on the real world. But the game's popularity has created unintended consequences in everyday life, from annoyed property owners dealing with hordes of monster hunters to store owners using the game to attract customers. Though perhaps that's to be expected from a game that has players visit real-world landmarks such as train stations, churches and museums in order to find and trap cartoon creatures. Here's a look at some of the bigger Poke questions that have emerged since the game went live last Wednesday: Click to watch video: http://alturl.com/t568g CAN DIGITAL LURES LEAD TO REAL CASH? Some shops are exploring ways to use Pokemon Go to drum up business. An Atlanta cafe owned by digital ad agency Huge turned out to be roughly 30 feet away from two prominent "Pokestops" — game representations of physical landmarks where players can stock up on digital game gear. So it spent about $40 in real money to add digital "lures" to the stops, refreshing them every 30 minutes. The lures increase the chance that rare Pokemon with names like "Starmie" and "Poliwag" turn up nearby — drawing players in turn. "Our corner was essentially lit up all day long," says Huge executive creative director Derek Fridman. READ MORE...

ALSO: Pokémon Go craze sweeps nation - Players find monsters and injuries, robberies and worse


JULY 14 -The Pokémon Go craze is sweeping across America. See how the game works, why everyone's so crazy about it, and all the stories that have come from it, from the game's positive impact on depression victims to armed robberies. (Jhaan Elker/The Washington Post) Early Friday morning, 19-year-old Shayla Wiggins hopped a fence to walk along the bank of Wind River in Riverton, Wyo. She was looking for Pokémon, the collectible cartoon critters that debuted in Japan in 1996 and won the hearts of every fifth-grader since.
What Wiggins found instead would reduce her to tears and spark a police investigation. A week before her discovery, Wiggins’s search for Pokémon along the Wind River would have been met with concern or ridicule. But the world — or, so far Australia, New Zealand and the United States — changed Wednesday. That’s thanks to Pokémon Go. The game has turned looking for video-game characters in the real world into a real hobby. For the uninitiated, Pokémon Go is a new augmented-reality game that invites players to hunt for digital Pokémon on their smartphones, placed using GPS and an algorithm by the company Niantic Labs. The catch is that the game, unlike the original Nintendo series and most video games, requires physical exploration. By trading a Game Boy for a smartphone, Pokémon Go can filter reality into a giant game world. The combined effect is part bird-watching, part geocaching, part trophy hunting, with a heavy dose of mid-1990s nostalgia. To collect Pokémon, players walk to a location and spy them on their smartphone. Seen through the smartphone’s camera, the creatures pop into existence alongside physical objects. The mole-like Diglett peeks out of a toilet. Or a flaming demon Shetland called Ponyta gallops across the Mall. READ MORE...

ALSO: Pokemon Go down - Servers crash as millions try to access game


JULY 17 -Players across Europe and the US unable to access game following overwhelming demand Pokemon Go servers appeared to crash on Saturday, leaving millions unable to play the augmented reality game. Users across Europe and the US complained they are unable to access the game, or that it is regularly freezing. Players began to report problems with the game shortly after 2pm. A hacking group named PoodleCorp has claimed responsibility for taking down the Pokemon Go servers through a denial of service (DDOS) attack. The problems follow the US launch of the game earlier this month, which caused servers to crash due to overwhelming demand. The game was launched in the UK on Thursday. The makers of the game issued a statement on Twitter on Saturday afternoon saying: "We have been working to fix the #PokemonGO server issues. Thank you for your patience." Pokemon Vaporeon appears in the middle of Central Park Frustrated players took to social media to complain about the problems. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Pokemon Go's digital popularity is also warping real life


JULY 13 -In this Monday, July 11, 2016, photo provided by Huge shows Pokemon Go players stopping outside the Huge Cafe in downtown Atlanta, Ga., in search of digital monsters. The cafe owner noticed it was between two "Pokestops" and paid $40 in real world money to attach lures to them to increase the odds of players finding rare monsters like the "Starmie" and "Poliwag" nearby. Businesses are using the game, released in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand last week, to advertise products or services. AP/Brinson McGowan/Huge

LOS ANGELES, JULY 18, 2016 (PHILSTAR)  By Ryan Nakashima (Associated Press) | Updated July 13, 2016 - The Pokemon Go craze has sent legions of players hiking around cities and battling with "pocket monsters" on their smartphones. It marks a turning point for augmented reality, or technology that superimposes a digital facade on the real world.

But the game's popularity has created unintended consequences in everyday life, from annoyed property owners dealing with hordes of monster hunters to store owners using the game to attract customers. Though perhaps that's to be expected from a game that has players visit real-world landmarks such as train stations, churches and museums in order to find and trap cartoon creatures.

Here's a look at some of the bigger Poke questions that have emerged since the game went live last Wednesday:

Click to watch video: http://alturl.com/t568g

CAN DIGITAL LURES LEAD TO REAL CASH?

Some shops are exploring ways to use Pokemon Go to drum up business.


Some shops are exploring ways to use Pokemon Go to drum up business

An Atlanta cafe owned by digital ad agency Huge turned out to be roughly 30 feet away from two prominent "Pokestops" — game representations of physical landmarks where players can stock up on digital game gear. So it spent about $40 in real money to add digital "lures" to the stops, refreshing them every 30 minutes. The lures increase the chance that rare Pokemon with names like "Starmie" and "Poliwag" turn up nearby — drawing players in turn.

"Our corner was essentially lit up all day long," says Huge executive creative director Derek Fridman.

READ MORE...

In San Francisco, enthusiastic players working for Kawika's Ocean Beach Deli likewise set out lures and branded the store as a "charging station" for drained phones. (The game is notoriously hard on batteries.)

Given that the shop is bracketed by Pokestops on one side and a battle arena on the other, players "have no choice but to walk past us," says owner David Nottage III. "So we put up some signs." The deli plans additional Pokemon-related activities in the future.

WHO'S TO BLAME WHEN PLAYING REALLY GETS OUT OF HAND?

In St. Louis, police say robbers perched near attractive digital spots to rob players engrossed in the game. A man who lives in a former church says his home — now also a Pokestop — has become a digital magnet for Pokemon Go players, who sometimes block his driveway and passing traffic as they pull over to stare at their phones.

Phoenix police are telling people not to trespass while playing the game. New York's subway is warning people not to jump onto the tracks to chase digital "Rattatas." The National Safety Council implored players not to play and drive.

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. called playing the game inside its walls "extremely inappropriate" and is trying to remove itself from the game. At the Associated Press bureau in Los Angeles, an outdated reference to a statue no longer on the property beckons Pokemon players in from the street.

Todd Richmond, a director at the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California, says a big debate is brewing over who controls digital assets associated with real world property.

"This is the problem with technology adoption — we don't have time to slowly dip our toe in the water," he says. "Tenants have had no say, no input, and now they're part of it."

 HOW BIG CAN AUGMENTED REALITY GET?

Stock in Nintendo, which part owns Pokemon Go, jumped 25 percent on Monday and another 13 percent Tuesday, adding nearly $8 billion to its market value as investors assessed the breakout game.

But Jefferies analyst Atul Goyal says that's just the beginning. He now targets a share price of 30,000 yen, nearly a third higher still. Nintendo is transitioning from console games to smartphone games, and "it has just started that journey," Goyal says.

The game's success on smartphones also could spur faster development from hardware makers — Microsoft with its HoloLens, the secretive startup Magic Leap, or Google, which could still revive its failed Glass headgear, says Timothy Carone, a professor at the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business.

"The reaction (to Pokemon Go) is a quick of vote of 'Yeah, they got this right,'" Carone says. "My guess is that a lot of developers have gone back to figure out how to take this approach."

DOES THIS AFFECT MY PRIVACY?

Adam Reeve, principal architect of security firm Red Owl, however, found that Pokemon Go required overly broad permission for those using a Google account as a sign-in. Even setting aside the location data collected by the app, he said, the app is a "huge security risk."

He noted the app, in theory, could allow Pokemon Go to read one's Gmail, send email as you and access your Google search history.

On Monday, Niantic said in a blog post that it never intended to request such sweeping data access, hasn't collected information beyond the user's ID and email address, and is working with Google to pare back the authorization.

PHOTOS FROM http://journalstar.com/


WASHINGTON POST

Pokémon Go craze sweeps nation: Players find monsters — and injuries, robberies and worse By Ben Guarino July 11

What you need to know about Pokemon Go, in 90 seconds Play Video1:31


The Pokémon Go craze is sweeping across America. See how the game works, why everyone's so crazy about it, and all the stories that have come from it, from the game's positive impact on depression victims to armed robberies. (Jhaan Elker/The Washington Post)

Early Friday morning, 19-year-old Shayla Wiggins hopped a fence to walk along the bank of Wind River in Riverton, Wyoming.

She was looking for Pokémon, the collectible cartoon critters that debuted in Japan in 1996 and won the hearts of every fifth-grader since.

What Wiggins found instead would reduce her to tears and spark a police investigation.

A week before her discovery, Wiggins’s search for Pokémon along the Wind River would have been met with concern or ridicule. But the world — or, so far Australia, New Zealand and the United States — changed Wednesday. That’s thanks to Pokémon Go.

The game has turned looking for video-game characters in the real world into a real hobby.

For the uninitiated, Pokémon Go is a new augmented-reality game that invites players to hunt for digital Pokémon on their smartphones, placed using GPS and an algorithm by the company Niantic Labs.

The catch is that the game, unlike the original Nintendo series and most video games, requires physical exploration. By trading a Game Boy for a smartphone, Pokémon Go can filter reality into a giant game world. The combined effect is part bird-watching, part geocaching, part trophy hunting, with a heavy dose of mid-1990s nostalgia.


Pokemon Go allows players to flit between the real and virtual world to capture different creatures

To collect Pokémon, players walk to a location and spy them on their smartphone. Seen through the smartphone’s camera, the creatures pop into existence alongside physical objects. The mole-like Diglett peeks out of a toilet. Or a flaming demon Shetland called Ponyta gallops across the Mall.

READ MORE...

With an upward flick of a finger or thumb, as though playing the world’s tiniest game of skee ball, the Pokémon Go player attempts to capture these creatures with Pokéballs.

Repeated captures of the same type of creature yield candies. Force-feeding enough candies to a Pokémon causes it to grow in power. Powerful creatures battle at gyms, which are digital arenas located at real points of interest.

“We’re excited that Pokémon fans and gamers can now start exploring their very own neighborhoods and cities to capture Pokémon using the Pokémon Go app,” developer Niantic Labs wrote in a news release Wednesday. “Players can discover and catch more than 100 Pokémon from the original Red and Blue games.”

If you are a Pokémon fan, or if you live where the game has been released, there is a good chance you have already stumbled across a Pokémon Go player (signs include vigorous touch-screen taps, eyes glued to phones and meandering walks). Perhaps you have fallen down its rabbit hole.

The app is free to download and, like the franchise that spawned it, massively popular.


A Pokemon Go Player Stumbled Over A Dead Body While Trying To Catch 'Em All | #follownews

Twenty-four hours after its release on the U.S. market, Pokémon Go had been installed on more Android phones than the dating app Tinder, according to analysts at SimilarWeb.

By Friday, Pokémon Go players installed the app on one of every 20 Android phones in the United States, and users spent an average of 43 minutes a day playing — much longer than the average time spent using Twitter, for instance.

Similar data are not available for Apple phones, but Pokémon Go rocketed to the No. 1 grossing app on Thursday on the back of its optional in-app purchases. Shares of Nintendo stock spiked 10 percent as the game beat expectations.

Pokémon Go is playing out across the globe in vignettes:

In Sydney, an impromptu gathering Saturday afternoon blossomed into 2,000 Pokémon hunters who marched in procession like leaf-cutter ants. Half the world away, long after last call had come and gone, the millennials were still strolling through parks in the nation’s capital looking for rare Pokémon.

According to a 40-year-old Pokémon Go player on Reddit, a 3 a.m. nocturnal hunt joined by two “20-something black dudes” aroused police suspicions that allegedly abated only when the officer downloaded the game himself.

Because the critters can pop up virtually anywhere, they already have — in offices, at funerals and in delivery rooms.

Pokémon, as Wiggins told Wyoming’s KTVQ-TV, can be found everywhere. Specific types are tied to certain habitats, thanks to geographic data. “I was trying to get a Pokemon from a natural water resource,” she said.

True to the original Pokémon spirit, players can use their creatures to fight.

Westboro Baptist Church, the site of a competitive Pokémon Go hot spot called a gym, became a social battleground as well as a virtual one. Progressive players who conquered the gym gave their Pokémon names like “LoveIsLove”; the Church gave a bird Pokémon a name using a homophobic slur.

(Players are divided into one of three factions and compete for dominance over gyms. The fountain on the White House’s North Lawn, digitally accessible from the civilian side of the fence, is a prized location.)

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“Poké stops” along K Street NW, Washington, D.C. (Screen grab Pokémon Go)

To make this virtual world tick, Niantic Labs borrowed heavily from the digital map master, Google. As Niantic chief executive John Hanke told Mashable: “A lot of us worked on Google Maps and Google Earth for many, many years, so we want the mapping to be good.”

It was Niantic’s Google DNA that enabled its previous game, “Ingress,” to map out points of interest. When “Ingress” launched in 2011, it asked players to tag specific locations.

“This is classic Google,” Georgia Tech augmented-reality expert Blair MacIntyre told the New Scientist at the time. “They may get information about new monuments, and that actually helps them generate more interesting search results, because these are the things that local people say are interesting.”

Pokémon Go uses the geographic information from “Ingress” to populate its world with Pokémon, so that water creatures are found near the shore, for instance. Public points of interest that give players items are called Pokéstops. Some of the most popular “Ingress” landmarks became gyms.

But this is where Pokémon Go takes an explosive turn — Pokémon Go is far more popular than “Ingress.” Niantic’s servers have crashed repeatedly over the past week, and it paused its global rollout. Some international players have attempted to find third-party routes into the game, only to be infected with viruses.

The popularity also means that certain points of interest, manageable in “Ingress” because of a much smaller player base, have been swarmed. What was a church prior to 2015 — and therefore an “Ingress” locale — became a home when Massachusetts designer Boon Sheridan bought it and converted it into a space to live.

Now it is also a gym, which has been swamped by players. There is currently no option on Niantic’s website for Sheridan to remove or alter the gym, prompting him to note the point on Twitter.

Despite the increased foot and car traffic — including some at odd hours of the night — Sheridan said he is not upset. “I’m not angry — it was more surprise than anything else,” he told BuzzFeed.

Playing in the physical world comes with physical problems, too. Pokémon Go has fractured metatarsals and bruised shins. The game’s loading screen cautions players to pay attention to their surroundings.


Pokemon Go's loading screen. (Screenshot)

Worse still is the crime. On Twitter, Omaha police reported a Pokémon Go robbery. As The Washington Post reported Sunday, Missouri police say players were robbed after visiting remote Pokéstops.

The perpetrators allegedly used digital items called lures to make the Pokéstops more alluring to Pokémon — and the players who would follow them. Four suspects, all teenagers, were charged with armed robbery, as police recovered a handgun from one teen.

[Police: Pokemon Go has been used to target armed-robbery victims]

Players have also found themselves in uncomfortable situations. On Medium.com, Omari Akil, a black writer from North Carolina, describes the worry he felt when playing Pokémon Go, afraid that if he wandered — as the game seemed to want — he would arouse potentially lethal suspicion:

“I spent less than 20 minutes outside. Five of those minutes were spent enjoying the game,” Akil wrote. “Very quickly my Pokemon catching dreams were obliterated by the unfortunate reality that exist for a Black Man in America. I realized that if I keep playing this game, it could literally kill me.”

For Wiggins, Pokémon Go meant discovering a body.

“I was walking toward the bridge along the shore when I saw something in the water,” she told KTVQ. “I had to take a second look and I realized it was a body.” Authorities think the death was accidental, according to CNN.

Wiggins was shaken by the discovery. But she, like thousands of people, plans to return to play Pokémon Go another day.

[Australian cops to Pokemon fans: Do not come looking for Pikachu in our police station]


INDEPENDENT ONLINE UK

Pokemon Go down: Servers crash as millions try to access game Harry Cockburn 3 hours ago12 comments



Players across Europe and the US unable to access game following overwhelming demand

Pokemon Go servers appeared to crash on Saturday, leaving millions unable to play the augmented reality game.

Users across Europe and the US complained they are unable to access the game, or that it is regularly freezing.

Players began to report problems with the game shortly after 2pm.

A hacking group named PoodleCorp has claimed responsibility for taking down the Pokemon Go servers through a denial of service (DDOS) attack.

READ MORE
Pokemon Go: I caught them all and it wasn’t worth it

Pokemon Go craze sees Nintendo share price increase 86% in a week adding Ł15bn to company value

Pokemon Go gamer crashes car into tree in New York

The problems follow the US launch of the game earlier this month, which caused servers to crash due to overwhelming demand.

The game was launched in the UK on Thursday.

The makers of the game issued a statement on Twitter on Saturday afternoon saying: "We have been working to fix the #PokemonGO server issues. Thank you for your patience."


Pokemon Vaporeon appears in the middle of Central Park

Frustrated players took to social media to complain about the problems.

READ MORE...

By Saturday night many most players were able to access the game.

The incident is one of many international news items relating to Pokemon Go since the launch of the game earlier this month.

A man crashed his car into a tree in New York on Friday, later admitting to police he had been distracted by the game.

On Thursday two men in San Diego fell off a cliff after they climbed over a fence in an attempt to catch the animated characters.


Fish out of water: Magikarp found in unusual places on Pokémon Go

Last week a teenager from Wyoming found a dead body in a river after she climbed over a fence to go in search of Pokémon near her home.


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