A new smartphone game is challenging Pokémon fans to venture into the real world to “catch ’em all,” which is concerning some police officers in Australia.
Pokémon GO uses augmented reality to place creatures and items in real locations, including the Eiffel Tower, Shinjuku Station, and… Darwin Police Station in Australia.
In a Facebook post, the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services asks players not to go hunting inside the station, saying that they merely need to be close to the building to collect their goodies.
State Lib in Melbourne, Australia got crowded with people playing Pokemon GO. Everyone's busy looking for pokemons 😄 pic.twitter.com/HjPiD1HGOf
— 传说 (@jingxiudou) July 7, 2016
As you walk through the world, Pokémon GO uses your phone’s GPS to alert you when you’re close to a creature. When you turn on the camera, the Pokémon appears overlaid on whatever your phone sees, and players can flick Pokéballs with their fingers to capture them.
While most Pokémon diehards are delighted about the launch, some worry about what their surroundings will say about their Pokémon chasing behavior.
Others are worried about the game bringing them to dangerous places. The game includes a warning asking people to be aware of their surroundings, while Australian police asked players to look up from their phones when they cross the street.
— Miraculous Maku (@RedMakuzawa) July 7, 2016
The game is a cooperation between Niantic, Inc., Nintendo, and The Pokémon Company.
“For the first time, with this game, Pokémon are going to roam free in the real world,” John Hanke, CEO of Niantic said.
“Pokémon GO will allow players to capture Pokémon who inhabit parks, shopping areas, sidewalks, and the countryside in places all around the world,” Hanke added.
Hanke also hinted that popular Pokémon like Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Pikachu are hiding by popular spots like the waterfront in San Francisco.