Pokémon Go Invades Burlington | Live Culture

Pokémon Go Invades Burlington

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Have you noticed more people than usual wandering Burlington glued to their smartphones this week? You’re not imagining it: They’re playing Pokémon Go.

The smartphone augmented-reality game, released last week, uses the phone's GPS to show players a map of their real-world surroundings — with the Pokémon world layered on top. Landmarks and local businesses become "Pokéstops" where nearby players can check in to collect items, or virtual "gyms," where players can train their Pokémon.  While walking around in the real world, players may encounter Pokemon, which appear on screen and can be captured using the phone's camera. 

This combination of real and virtual reality is proving to be addictive — in less than a week, the game has reportedly been downloaded some 15 million times; its players now outnumber active daily Twitter users. Reports abound of Poképlayers across the country crashing cars, walking into things while staring at their screens and getting lured to PokeStops where they've been robbed.

In Burlington, local Poképlayers have headed to central locations to battle, collect items and socialize. Kids VT intern Andie Pinga found some of them wandering the Church Street  Marketplace on Tuesday afternoon.
Elsewhere in Vermont, park rangers had some fun in the field:
The folks at My Little Cupcake spotted a Meowth in their ingredients:

The Vermont Secretary of State is hoping to lure gamers to the voting booth with the promise of Pokémon:

And the organizers behind Vermont Comic Con have already added a Pokémon Go meet-up to their schedule of events in late August.

So is the app a fun diversion or have we reached the Poképocalypse? You decide — and please, don't walk into traffic while you're staring at your screens.

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