DANBURY, Conn. -- 14-year-old Mark Leonard of Brookfield stood facing the carousel at the Danbury Fair Mall on Tuesday afternoon, clicking on his cellphone. "There is a 'poke stop' over here," he said.
Are you playing Pokemon Go?
Yes, I can't stop
Yes, it's a fun distraction
No, I'm not interested
I don't even understand what it is
My kids are playing
Mark was playing Pokemon Go, the new Pokemon game that in just days has gone from "what's that?" to the hottest game to sweep the nation. Take a walk over to -- well, nearly anywhere -- and it won't be long before a Pokemon Go player is spotted.
Ever since the release of the game a few days ago, Nintendo has added $7 billion to the value of the company. With Pokemon Go, it has created an app that allows users to get as close as they could ever have imagined to being an official Pokémon catcher. The app allows users to catch the virtual creatures in real-life environments viewable on smart devices.
"One thing I like about this game is it gets you to explore the outside world and not just sit inside all day like you do with the other Pokemon games," Mark said as he walked off to continue his Pokemon hunt.
Allison Renner, 18, of Bethel, who will be attending the University of Dayton in the fall, said she never thought she would be in on the Pokemon craze. "I had no interest in Pokemon when I was little. When this new game came out, I saw it on Twitter and thought it looked so dumb," Renner said.
That was, however, until she discovered her co-workers at Robeks Fresh Juices & Smoothies in Danbury, who range from age 17 to their mid-30s, play it.
"Yesterday, we all finished closing and were looking around the parking lot of the store, searching for Pokemon," said Renner. On Wednesday night, the same group plans to venture out on another hunt -- this time on the streets of Downtown Bethel. "It's so addicting," she said.
The game can also get very competitive. 19-year-old Justin You of Danbury, who attends Boston University, said he is determined to capture more Pokemon than his friends. "I have already caught 25 Pokemon out of 250 since Friday. I have a lot of friends who are playing and I just want to beat them all," he said.
David Harrison, 29, of Brookfield said that for him, playing the game is nostalgic. "Prior to a few days ago, the last time I played was when I was in the sixth grade at Shrewsbury Middle School in Massachusetts.
"I remember going to school with my Pokeman cards and playing them at recess," said Harrison, who works in human resources and plays Pokemon Go during his lunch time. "I think a lot of the appeal for this game for adults is it brings back fond memories of having good times with old friends."
Harrison has organized a Pokemon Go Walk in Danbury. For information on the walk, click here.
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