It began a mere week ago, but Pokemon Go has the world in a creature-finding craze.
The game's popularity has sent people into bars and pizzerias, led to the discovery of a dead body, and might be helping robbers target victims.
Shares in Nintendo have surged 77 percent to a six-year high in just over a week on the game's success, adding $15 billion in market value.
As an April Fools' gag.
The Chinese copy, locally developed by Shenzhen Tanyu, is the most downloaded app in the Apple iOS store and is also popular on the Android platform although it is not yet known whether it is topping the charts there as Google Play is blocked in the country.
It gets even equally dividing when you go to Pokestops, places on the map where you can acquire free in-game stuff. You "catch" them by virtually shooting red and white "Poké Balls" at them. So if you're one of those nervous types, I suggest you do what my wife and I did - join the expedition.
Accompanying the game was a heart-pounding, highly produced video showing people out in the actual world climbing mountains, riding camels across the desert and taking to the sea in order to find Pokemon. However, rising Pokemon masters should beware.
The augmented reality game, which has more than 65 million users in the United States just seven days after launch, is surpassing Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram in time spent on the app.
In Ontario, provincial police have put out a short video on Twitter in response to the "potential risk and harm" they are seeing related to the game.
The second biggest difference besides location is the means of which you play this Pokemon game.
Niantic and The Pokemon Company said in a statement that the company is strict when it comes to safety violations. That game, which is being played in more than 200 countries, requires players to move through cities and towns to capture "portals" at landmarks such as public art institutions or monuments, essentially turning the entire world into a virtual game board.
The announcement itself appears to have been delayed somewhat, as Niantic has also released Pokemon Go in the United Kingdom, which is not stated in the countries mentioned. Sitting on your couch all day trying to play this game might be the least rewarding activity I've ever done, as depressingly low-level Pokemon appear behind my trash can, nearly mockingly. Priced at $35, the device vibrates for gamers to simply press a button to capture a nearby Pokemon.
Hanke certainly noticed it. The company that was then part of Google had already scored a hit with the location-based game Ingress.
He wasn't the only one with such foresight.
"I was out hunting Pokemon with my mother and my dog".
Well, that's exactly what ended up happening.
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The game has only been out for about a week, but it's swept the nation in a Poke-fever.
That might seem surprising, but it might not be as serendipitous as it sounds.
"Augmented reality is one of those things that got pushed off to the side because no one had seen a proof of concept of a successful or compelling AR game", said Matthew Diener, a senior analyst at research firm EEDAR.