Pokemon Go: Iconic landmarks around the world where you can catch ‘em all

  • AFP, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 23, 2016 20:53 IST
Dozens of people gather to play Pokemon Go in front of the Sydney Opera House on July 15, 2016. (AFP)

Pokemon Go, the geo-location-based app that has taken the world by storm, is being hailed as a potentially transformative agent for the travel industry, as it encourages players to catch ‘em all.

And while the game has generated no small amount of controversy for popping up in inappropriate places — cemeteries, military bases, New York’s 9/11 Memorial and the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC and subway tracks to name a few — more and more tourist sites and landmarks around the world are capitalising on the phenomenon and inviting players to pay a visit.

Here’s a tour of some iconic places around the world where Pokemon Go is welcome:

US National Parks

People walk up Market Street playing Pokemon Go, an augmented reality game, during a Pokemon Go Pub Crawl in San Francisco on July 20, 2016. (NYT)

Visits to US national parks are reported to have spiked following the launch of the app in the US. And while players are reminded to be vigilant and avoid straying off designated paths while hunting for the elusive characters, they’re also reminded to keep an eye out for real-life wonders like icy tundra, grassy plains, and gleaming mountains.

Read: Why Pokémon Go is just the beginning of augmented reality

“We’d like to welcome all you trainers to your national parks, where you might find more than just a new virtual companion,” said Director Jon Jarvis in a Facebook post.

Rio 2016 Olympics

Rio de Janeiro’s mayor Eduardo Paes posted a Facebook plea asking Nintendo to bring the popular app to Brazil in time for the games. While the city has been mapped for the Pokemon Go, no launch date has been announced. The games begin August 5.

National Mall, Washington DC

Tommy Zhang, left, a Pokemon Go trainer, in New York on July 19, 2016. For underemployed 20-somethings, training newbies in the finer points of Pokemon Go has emerged as a fresh career. (NYT)

Not only are players invited to hunt for the elusive creatures across America’s national parks, the US National Park Service went so far as to organize a “Catch the Mall Pokemon Hunt,” led by a tech-savvy ranger last weekend at the National Mall.

Read: Pokemon Go craze gives birth to Pokewalks even before official release

In addition to helping players catch elusive Pokemon characters, rangers injected a bit of national park trivia into the hunts.

Sydney Opera House

Earlier this week, the iconic opera house in Sydney attracted hundreds of players to its front steps after organizing a Pokemon Go hunt at lunchtime.

Museum of Modern Art, New York

A man plays the augmented reality mobile game by Nintendo on his mobile phone as he walks at a busy crossing in Shibuya district in Tokyo, Japan, on July 22, 2016. (REUTERS)

One of the most popular museums in New York features two Poké Stops, revealed the MoMA in a bid to attract visitors.

Merchant House Museum, New York

The oldest restored townhouse and first landmark in New York City, the Merchant House Museum, told The Independent it welcomes Pokemon Go players to tour the house while capturing the characters. The house is considered one of the best examples of preserved architecture and design from the 19th century and dates back to 1832.

Read: Pokemon Go linked to death, gets safety guidelines from Japan

However, the game hasn’t been so warmly received everywhere across the world. Several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Russia, Indonesia, Belarus, Turkey Australia and Portugal have either banned it or issued a fatwa against it or threatened employees with immediate dismissal if seen playing.

Tim C searches for Pokemon during a gathering of ‘Pokemon Go’ players on July 20, 2016 in San Francisco. (AP)

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