- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 12, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A wildly popular new game has University of New Mexico’s campus crawling with players using their smartphones to hunt for virtual creatures.

The campus’ lack of traffic has made it popular with Pokemon Go players, especially at night, UNM marketing assistant James Walker told the Albuquerque Journal (https://bit.ly/29NU1JO ). The UNM campus is also home to several so-called “Pokestops,” real-world landmarks that show up in the game’s virtual world, including the duck pond, Zimmerman Library and Smith Plaza.

“The community is exploding here,” Walker, 23, said of the Pokemon Go players.

Pokemon Go is a free mobile phone app developed by software company Niantic and the Pokemon Co. In previous Pokemon games, players used video game consoles to collect and battle Pokemon, creatures that often resemble animals. The new game, however, asks users to walk around in the real world and capture the creatures on their phone screens.

Pokémon in the app are location- and time-specific. So, for example, aquatic Pokémon are only found near real-world water sources and ghost Pokémon only emerge at night.

One of the players on UNM’s campus is Joshua Springs, 24, who is set to start school in the fall. He said he’s been waiting to catch Pokémon in the real world since he first started playing the game on the Game Boy in the late 1990s.

He said he’s enjoyed meeting current and future students while playing the game.

“You’re not playing it alone anymore,” Springs said.


Information from: Albuquerque Journal, https://www.abqjournal.com

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