You know a craze has gone big when even us oldies in the office have heard about it. Whilst Pokémon Go isn’t normally our cup of tea, we can’t deny we’re intrigued. The mobile game involves hunting for Pokémon in the park, on street corners, pretty much anywhere. It’s being praised for getting gamers out of the house, getting them active and in some cases even for calming anxiety.
However, as with all fads someone will take it to extremes. In this case it’s New Zealander Tom Currie. The 24 year old barista and bartender from the Auckland area, has quit his job to play the game full time. He’s relying on friends and family to help him out and admits his parents are “a little bit baffled” by his decision. Never mind, he is having his 15 minutes of fame and has become a local celebrity after the international press picked up his story. Once he’s caught all 151 Pokémon available in the game Tom says he’ll go back to work. His parents will no doubt be relieved.
Whilst we’re somewhat loathe to admit it Tom’s adventure does actually sound quite fun and it’s a novel way to travel too. He’s booked 20 bus tickets from Cape Reinga at the top of North Island to Invercargill in the far south of South Island. So far his favourite destination has been Sumner in Christchurch and he says the game has been a great way of meeting new people and making new friends. Landmarks are also often pointed out in the game too, though they’re called Pokéstops.
It’s not really surprising that New Zealand is a natural haven for these virtual creatures. Rumour has it they are popping up in iconic locations like Hobbiton, Cathedral Cove in the Coromandel Peninsula, Abel Tasman National Park, Aoraki Mt Cook and even Nugget Point in the Catlins, making the country an ideal place to play the game.
Like all crazes at some point Pokémon Go will eventually run its course. This obsession for wandering the planet to find Pikachu, Squirtle and their other computer generated friends will pass. In the meantime, however, Pokémon Go doesn’t seem all that bad. It may be a virtual game, but it takes place in a very real world, and in New Zealand one with spectacular views and scenery. To be honest we’d take any excuse to get out on those pristine beaches and expansive glaciers. We’re not giving up on the day jobs just yet though, so if you’re feeling inspired give us a bell and we will help make your New Zealand Pokémon Go adventure a reality!
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