Hunt for Pokemon brings out inner child

By Nicole Barratt

A group of adults gathered outside a North Shore library last night, six hours after it closed.

The mid-20 to 30-year-olds weren't eagerly waiting to check out books, they were there to hunt Pokemon.

Pokemon Go is the latest craze in phone apps, with Bulbasaurs, Slowbros and Squirtles up for grabs across the country.

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Grown men and women all over New Zealand have dedicated themselves to the art of Pokemon hunting.

Wide, open areas have been particularly popular with players.

Greg Ruaporo and Jordan Jamieson were two of the adults hunting for Pokemon last night at Birkenhead Library.

According to Ruaporo, the North Shore library was "a bit of a hotspot" at 11pm. "We had a few people here a little while ago, and we've just come down to check it out ... We'll see how we go."

Ruaporo said they had been scouring areas around the North Shore. "We went around a few other spots just to check out different areas to see if we could find some new, different types of Pokemon."

Jamieson said she finds it to be more like a treasure hunt than anything.

"I'm not really that interested in Pokemon but the idea of going outside and having a look for something, I think that's pretty cool."

The game also had eager players strolling the waterfront of Mission Bay near midnight last night.

"Pokemon Go has Mission Bay full as it would be on a midday during summer. It's winter and 11pm," Annabelle Watson tweeted.

"It was like a new zombie apocalypse," she told the Herald. "We drove along the waterfront and you could see cars parked at Pokestops."

She said there were at least 50 people playing at Mission Bay's playground. "One guy had climbed the playground to get better reception or something, he was holding his phone in the air."

There were apparently a lot of Lickitungs and Pidgeottos around.

It was all 18 to 30-year-olds playing, according to Watson.

Watson said Aotea Square was also a popular spot for Pokemon-hunting fanatics last night.

After work she watched grown men aim their phones strategically at Clefairies and Bulbasaurs.

Watson's friends drove specifically to Aotea Square to see if they could catch one.

No longer confined by Game Boy worlds of the 1990s, users are encouraged to explore their real life environments, thanks to augmented reality and GPS tracking.

Different geographic areas explored allow users to discover unique Pokemon.

In a small town, expect to find grass-type Pokemon, while going near oceans and rivers will attract water types. Playing at night will also increase chances of snagging nocturnal creatures- like Gastly and Clefairy.

Players are attempting to capture all 151 Pokemon.

- NZ Herald

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