Pokémon Go craze sweeps Scarborough

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Since Pokémon Go went live in the UK last week people in Scarborough have been hitting the streets to try and catch the fighting monsters.

The app, for I-phone and 
Android, allows players to catch characters from the popular Japanese franchise while out and about on the streets in town.

A number of locations in the town have also become ‘Pokéstops’ – places of note where players can go to restock items for the game.

The release has revived the craze for the Nintendo game, which rose to popularity when millions of people played its first instalment on the Game Boy console in the late 1990s.

Its franchise soon expanded to include a number of game 
sequels, a trading card game, merchandise and films.

Users can scan their area using mobile devices in an attempt to find Wild Pokémon, before throwing a Pokéball to catch them if they’re lucky.

Players use their phone’s GPS and camera to search for wild Pokémon which have been hidden in thousands of locations.

When they find them they can battle, capture and train them – all in the virtual world, not the real one.

A number of prominent locations in Scarborough, including the castle, many of the town’s churches, shops and the railway station, are all places people can go catch Pokemon and to locate more balls in which to do so.

Many locations also have humorous descriptions when they are brought up in the app.

The Diving Belle statue in Westborough is referred to as the “levitating lady”.

Falsgrave Community Centre comes with the disclaimer “though not in Falsgrave” and the blue plaque for Charles Laughton near the Stephen Joseph Theatre states simply “Famous Bloke Born Here”.

Eddie Blakeley, who has run the Atlanta Guest House in 
Columbus Ravine for the last 23 years, has found himself even more popular since the game launched last week.

The hotel has a yellow Tour de Yorkshire bicycle above its entrance and it has been flagged as a Pokéstop.

Mr Blakeley said it has certainly led to an increase in 
interest.

He told The Scarborough News: “We had a lot of people hanging round outside so I went to educate myself and they showed me Pokémon Go and that we were a stop on the map.

“All the young people have been lovely and anything that gets them off the sofa and outside has to be a good thing.

“Plus it’s a nice little bit of free publicity for us.

“We’re got so many people outside we’re thinking about opening a lemonade stand for them,” he joked.

Worried that youngsters will be so engrossed in what they are seeing on their mobiles that they might walk under a bus or fall into the clutches of criminals,the police have drawn up a five-point plan to avoid danger.

The advice includes letting family or friends know where you are going and what time you will be back, avoid potentially dangerous locations, respect the wishes of residents who might find their gardens have suddenly become infested with grotesque cartoon 
monsters, and, above all, stay alert to what is going on around you, especially when crossing the road.

l Have you spotted Pokémon in unusual locations around the borough, or is your business a Pokéstop? If so email carl.gavaghan@jpress.co.uk.