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Pokemon Go unleashes mobs of monster hunters

Pokemon hunting at MBK shopping center in downtown Bangkok (Source: YouTube)

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The first big augmented reality hit, Pokemon gets people outside running around meeting people, getting exercise & also throwing balls at little furry creatures.


Pokemon Go unleashes mobs of monster hunters

AFP News agency

The free Pokemon Go smartphone game has triggered a near- obsessive craze since the game's release in the US, Australia and New Zealand last week.

The game was available for a short time in Thailand before it was turned off and many jumped on the opportunity to try it out such as the Pokemon hunter at the MBK shopping center in the video below:


Screenshot of the player in the augmented reality mode, catching one of the cartoon animals that inhabit the game (Source: Wikipedia)

What makes the game different from other games is that it overlays game play onto the real world.

You play the game by walking all over town, even to places you would never dream of visiting, rather than just sitting on the sofa at home. 

Pokemon Go may be the first big Augmented reality (AR) hit, AR being the tech term used this sort of mixture of computer world with the real world (see here, here, here & here).

The recently much- hyped virtual reality goes one step further and replaces the real world with a simulated world located entirely within the computer.


In the game, game-players hunt cartoon monsters called Pokemon that are overlaid on real world settings when viewed through cameras on phones.

Players swipe their fingers across phone screens to hit creatures with virtual balls used to capture monsters.

The game uses GPS and mapping capabilities in mobile phones to let players roam the real world to find "PokeStops" stocked with supplies and hunt cartoon monsters to capture and train for battles.

Players also visit "gyms" where the creatures can be conditioned as combatants to seize such training facilities.


The app is based on a Nintendo game of 20 years ago.

The old game was adapted to the mobile internet age by Niantic Labs, a company spun off (spun out) of Google last year.

Many players said their connections to Pokemon stretch back to childhood.

"It is a bit nostalgic for us, and once it catches on, like anything that is viral, everyone else wants to see what it is about," Kong said of the game's dizzying popularity.


Evidence of the craze is easy to spot.

Hordes of people can be seen walking in circles or wandering around, eyes riveted to their smartphone screens.

Chatter ranges from shouted Pokemon sightings to consultations about where to recharge phone batteries.

Bicyclists or cars will suddenly pull over near spots which, in the game, are PokeStops or gyms.

"It takes me longer to ride my bike to work now, because I stop at every PokeStop," said one player named Ms. Cook.

"I also take longer ways to where I need to go, just to have more stops along the way."


A Twitter employee playing Pokemon Go while on a break from his job at the company's San Francisco headquarters advised hunting outside nearby luxury condos owned by rich techies.

They don't mind spending cash to buy the game's virtual "incense" that makes Pokemon come to a player instead of the other way around.


Roland James Rodas, 23, spent the weekend hunting, training and fighting Pokemon, taking breaks only for food, sleep and to charge his phone.

"Everyone is playing," Rodas said.

"I haven't hung out with my friends this much in a while. Every other day we are getting together just to walk around playing the game."

The popularity of Pokemon Go has overwhelmed servers used to host play, leaving players frustrated but seemingly undeterred.

App analytics company SensorTower estimates the game has already been downloaded 7.5 million times in the US, and brings in $1.6 million per day on Apple's iOS app store from sales of virtual items.


Rodas sprang from bed near midnight to race outside and catch a nocturnal Pokemon.

Edith Duro interrupted dinner to pursue a nearby creature.

A player who identified himself only as Nick B. spent part of Tuesday on a quest to reach a "PokeStop" tucked away in San Francisco's posh Nob Hill.

"It was in someone's backyard basically," he said, as he and a friend hunted Pokemon in front of San Francisco City Hall.

"We had to climb through a car park to get close enough to it."


Ms. Cook, a mom, said that part of the game's appeal for her was "the thrill of the hunt" and the fun of capturing rare Pokemon.

She also enjoyed the social aspect of the game, getting people out into places such as parks to play and talk together.

"To be honest, it does feel a little bit weird being a grown man out here playing video games," Steven Kong, 33, said while hunting Pokemon in the San Francisco Civic Center.

One recent article noted, that Pokemon Go was better than any fitness app for finding some fun opportunities for exercise.


Pokemon Go comes with warnings for players to remain aware of their surroundings.

Police have urged players not to venture into places that are dangerous or off-limits, and to watch out for criminals who may turn them from hunters to prey.

Many businesses have welcomed the craze, offering discounts or deals to visiting Pokemon Go players.

However, some venues in the US such as Washington's Holocaust Museum and Arlington National Cemetery are asking people to be respectful and refrain from gameplay there.


Concerns have also been raised about whether data collected about players and their whereabouts is being kept private and safe.

US Senator Al Franken on Tuesday sent Niantic a letter asking for information regarding what it does with data gathered about players.


Learn from listening

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adapt : to change something to suit different conditions or uses - ทำให้เหมาะ, ทำให้เข้ากับ, ปรับ

backyard (noun): the area in back of a house - สวนหลังบ้าน, พื้นที่หลังบ้าน

based on (verb): information or facts used to make a story, calculation, judgement or decision - ตั้งอยู่บน,ยึดเป็นหลัก

battery (noun): a device that is placed inside a car engine, clock, radio, etc. and that produces the electricity that makes it work - แบตเตอรี่, ที่กำเนิดไฟฟ้า

battle : a fight; serious disagreement, strong competition, etc. - การต่อสู้

capability : the ability to do something - ความสามารถ

capture : to catch someone or something; to take someone as a prisoner - จับ, จับกุม

car park : parking lot a place where motor vehicles are parked - ลานจอดรถ, ที่จอดรถ

catches on : becomes popular -

chatter : when people are talking continuously without stoppping - ที่พูดไม่หยุด

childhood (noun): the period of somebody's life when they are a child - วัยเด็ก

climb : go up, rise, ascend - ขึ้น

combatant : a person involved in a fight or combat การต่อสู้ -

connection : a relationship between people or groups - ความสัมพันธ์

consultation : the act of discussing something with somebody or with a group of people before making a decision about it - การปรึกษาหารือ

craze : an enthusiastic interest in something that is shared by many people but that usually does not last very long; a thing that people have a craze for - ความนิยม (ในช่วงระยะสั้นๆ)

creature : anything that lives except plants - สิ่งมีชีวิต (คน, สัตว์)

dizzy : feeling as if everything is turning round and being unable to balance and about to fall down - เวียนศีรษะ

dizzying : very surprising & unbelievable -

entirely : completely; in every way possible - โดยทั้งหมด, โดยสิ้นเชิง

evidence : facts, signs or objects that make you believe that something is true - หลักฐาน,ข้อแสดง

exercise : physical activity such as running or weight lifting to make your body strong and healthy; physical training - การออกกำลังกาย

facility (noun): a building, equipment, etc., used for a particular purpose - โรงงาน, สถานบริการ, สิ่งก่อสร้าง, สิ่งอำนวยความสะดวก

fitness : being healthy and strong, especially because you do regular physical exercise - ที่มีสุขภาพดี, แข็งแรง, ที่เตรียมพร้อม

further : more; additional - มากไปกว่านี้

GPS : global positioning system (a system by which signals are sent from satellites to a special device, used to show the position of a person or thing on the surface of the earth very accurately) - จีพีเอส (ระบบกำหนดตำแหน่งบนโลก)

hordes : large numbers of people - กลุ่มใหญ่,ฝูงชน

hung out : met at a place with friends - ไปบ่อย,ไปเป็นประจำ

hunt (verb): to look for a person or animal in order to catch them or harm them; to chase wild animals or birds in order to catch or kill them for food, sport or to make money - ตามหา, ล่า

hype : to advertise or talk about something a lot and exaggerate in order to get a lot of public attention - ทำให้ตื่นเต้น, โฆษณาชวนเชื่อ

interrupt : to make something stop for a period of time - ทำให้หยุดชะงัก

located : where something is - ตั้งอยู่

mixture : a combination of different things - การผสม

monster : (in stories) an imaginary creature that is very large, ugly and frightening - สัตว์ประหลาดในนิยาย,สัตว์ที่น่าเกลียดน่ากลัว

never dream of : something that you would never think of having or doing -

nostalgic (adj): feeling pleasure and slight sadness at the same time as you think about things that happened in the past - คิดถึงความหลัง

obsessive : thinking about one thing all the time, having a preoccupation -

opportunity (noun): a chance to do something, or a situation in which it is easy for you to do something - โอกาส

overlaid : to put something on top of a surface so as to cover it completely; to lie on top of a surface - วางทับ, ทับ, ปิดคลุม

overlay : to put something on top of a surface so as to cover it completely; to lie on top of a surface - วางทับ, ทับ, ปิดคลุม

popularity : a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - ความเป็นที่นิยม, ความเป็นที่ชื่นชอบ

ranges from : to include a variety of different things in addition to those mentioned - ขยายออก, แบ่งประเภท

recharge : to put electricity in a battery again - บรรจุใหม่, ใส่ใหม่

release : the act of making something available to the public - การนำออกแสดง, การออกวางจำหน่าย

replace : to change from one thing to another - แทน

rivet (verb): to hold somebody's interest or attention so completely that they cannot look away or think of anything else -

screen (noun): a display on a phone, computer, etc. that shows information -

setting : the place where someone or something is, and all the things, people, or emotions that are part of that place - สภาพแวดล้อม,

shout : to speak with a very loud voice, often as loud as possible, usually when you want to make yourself heard in noisy situations - ตะโกน

sighting : an occasion when somebody sees somebody/something, especially something unusual or something that lasts for only a short time - โอกาสที่จะได้เห็น

simulate : to do or make something which looks real but is not real - จำลอง

sort (noun): type; kind - ชนิด, ประเภท

spot : to see or notice - สังเกตเห็น

sprang up : appeared or produced suddenly and quickly - ทะลึ่งพรวด

spun off : when a part of a company is sold, issuing stock and becoming a new company; past form of "spin off" -

stretch : to cause something to reach, often as far as possible, in a particular direction - ขยายออก, ยืดออก

swipe : to move something quickly over another thing -

tech : technical; connected with the skills needed for a particular job, sport, art, etc; connected with practical methods for doing something ใ - นทางเทคนิค

term : to use a particular name or word to describe somebody/something - ตั้งชื่อ, เรียกชื่อ

train : to practice a sport to get better and win in competition -

training (noun): teaching people how to do a certain job or activity - การฝึกอบรม, การฝึก, การอบรม

trigger : to cause - ก่อให้เกิด กระตุ้น

viral : (of a video, photo, story, etc.) spread across the internet very quickly (like a virus spreading a disease) as people share it with their friends or the news media reports on it - แพร่กระจายผ่านทางอินเทอร์เน็ตอย่างรวดเร็ว

virtual (adj): using images and often sounds that are produced by a computer and connected equipment to make the user feel as if they are in real three-dimensional space - สภาวะเสมือนจริงที่จำลองโดยเทคนิคทางคอมพิวเตอร์

virtual reality : images and sounds that are produced by a computer and connected equipment to make the user feel as if they are in real three-dimensional space - สภาวะเสมือนจริงที่จำลองโดยเทคนิคทางคอมพิวเตอร์

wander : roam; to travel from place to place without a particular direction or purpose - เดินทางไปโดยไม่มีจุดหมายที่แน่นอน, ร่อนเร่


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