Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Gamers Embrace Pokemon Go - Once Figuring out How to Get the Mobile Hit

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Gamers Embrace Pokemon Go - Once Figuring out How to Get the Mobile Hit

Article excerpt

Canadian gamers embrace Pokemon Go

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TORONTO - Canadians unwilling to wait for access to the mobile gaming sensation Pokemon Go seem to be having no trouble figuring out ways to join the fun now.

Officially, the augmented-reality game has only been available in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Japan since last week, but it quickly became an overnight smash hit generating headlines around the world.

The game sends players into the real world to search for the mythical digital pocket monsters known as Pokemon, who appear onscreen when users hold up their iPhones or Android devices in various locations at various times of the day.

Most Canadians have been forced to watch from the sidelines, but a significant number appear to have found workarounds.

Tanya Barrett says she and three of her kids were playing the game all weekend, exploring their east-end Toronto neighbourhood for hours despite restrictive measures meant to stagger the game's global rollout.

"It's different than the gaming consoles where you're staring at the TV," says 41-year-old Barrett, who adds it forces her eight-year-old and 10-year-old twins to get out of the house.

"It's summer, they're looking for something to do.... They've actually been getting out. Yes, they're still attached to a device but they've been getting out. In the summer, sometimes that's hard to do."

Getting the game was relatively easy, she adds.

She was able to download it for her iPhone through a U.S. iTunes account, while her husband figured out how to put it on his Android phone thanks to a YouTube video.

But eager downloaders do so at their own risk, says fellow Toronto-based Pokemon Go fan JP Casino, who pointed to reports of malware embedded in unofficial Android downloads, as well as possible blowback from game developer Niantic.

Nevertheless, that hasn't stopped the 39-year-old from downloading the game from his U.S. iTunes account.

"It's insanely fun," says Casino, who plays with his six-year-old son. He adds the appeal for him involves a fair bit of nostalgia.

"For a lot of us anyway, it's touched on a lot of our childhoods and earlier years. …

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