Battle ground

MARYVILLE, Mo. — When the Pokémon craze had children battling for little monsters during recess 20 years ago, some of the game’s most loyal fans dreamed that one day they would actually find Pikachu or Charizard in the wild.

As of last week’s release of Pokémon Go, those dreams have come close to actualization.

“It’s s about as close as it gets,” said Iñaki Irisarri of Maryville.

Pokémon Go, an augmented reality game played on smartphones, blends technology from GPS and cameras to place the pocket monsters in real places. After players download the app, they can activate the cameras on their phones to find a map of their area and locate images of the monsters. To catch and collect them, players “throw” a Pokéball by sliding their fingers up the screen at the monsters.

Pokémon are sneaky, though. If players don’t catch them in time, they disappear from the screen. The chase continues, and players wander the streets with their phones out and cameras on to spy another critter to capture into their collection.

Since the game was released in the United States last week, downloads have sailed past 7.5 million. BBC News reported Thursday that shares for Nintendo, the parent company of the Pokémon Franchise, has increased 56 percent since the game’s release. Continue reading “Pocket monsters pop up in Maryville”