Invercargill Library capitalising on Pokemon Go craze

Jordan Youngman, 18, of Tapanui, Atreyu Smith-Haines, 23, of Otautau, Matt Mills, 20, of Otautau, and Connor ...
ROBYN EDIE/FAIRFAX NZ

Jordan Youngman, 18, of Tapanui, Atreyu Smith-Haines, 23, of Otautau, Matt Mills, 20, of Otautau, and Connor Smith-Haines, 19, of Invercargill at the Invercargill Pokemon Go Walk held in Queens Park on Saturday afternoon. Matt has walked 62km's following the Pokemon Go app on his phone last, 17km's in one day.

The Invercargill Library has cottoned on to the Pokemon Go craze, luring players with free food and Wi-Fi.

Released in New Zealand on July 13, Pokemon Go is the latest virtual reality craze sweeping the world.

The smartphone app, powered by a combination of Google Maps and phone camera, takes the traditional format of the Pokemon video games (walking around fighting and capturing fictional animals and plants) into the real world.

The game allows players to train, battle, and capture Pokemon through "geocaching", where players use their phones to hunt out hiding Pokemon.

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Landmarks are also home to "pokestops", where items can be collected.

Numerous pokestops are dotted across New Zealand, where people can use incense to lure wild Pokemon.

The library has hosted three Pokemon events in an effort to lure players to it.

Libraries digital content coordinator Eve Moodie said the library held a two-hour event for Pokemon players on Thursday but only three people turned up.

On Monday the library hosted two events and 30 players showed uop.

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Free Wi-Fi was on offer and staff opened their meeting room and put out snacks for those playing the game, Moodie said.

"What we're doing is putting down some lures on the library pokestop."

The lures increase the chances of discovering Pokemon in a location.

"We were quite excited when we found out there was a pokestop at the library," Moodie said.

Staff thought they might as well capitalise on that and get people into the library, she said.

They had noticed a few people had been playing in the game in cars parked outside, she said.

On Saturday a Pokemon Go walk event was held in Queens Park as part of nationwide series of events.

Hundreds of people turned up to the park to hunt out Pokemon.

 - Stuff

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