It’s got me out of the house and exploring my neighbourhood.Emily Ball
If you see more people than usual hurriedly walking around with their heads down as they excitedly peer at their phone, they could be chasing a Pokémon.
The Pokémon Go phenomenon which has got everyone talking for the game’s capacity to get people off the couch and sometimes distractedly walking into harm’s way, has reached the Mountains.
At Scenic World in Katoomba, people are pouring in to do battle with a Pokémon for ownership of their “gym”.
“Pokémon Go is a fun addition to the Scenic World experience and our staff, many of whom are keen gamers, have enjoyed helping our domestic and international visitors track down Pokémon and battle for control of the gym,” said Amanda Byrne, the head of marketing and events at Scenic World.
The location-based augmented reality mobile game was released in early July, and Blackheath gamer and Scenic World staffer Emily Ball estimates she’s walked 30km in a week chasing Pokémon.
“I catch so much and it’s encouraged me to walk around and have fun,” the 22-year-old says.
“It’s got me out of the house and exploring my neighbourhood.”
She says the game has “nostalgic" appeal, recalling her childhood of playing Pokémon Snap on the Nintendo 64.
Scenic World is a great place for first-time players to have a go, Ms Ball said, as you can stock up on poke balls, potions, eggs and Pokémon – “all the things you need in the game”.
Meanwhile, Slater and Gordon lawyer Emma Aldersea has urged players to remember their in-game actions could have serious, real world consequences.
“The biggest legal risk for Pokémon Go trainers is the temptation of trespass, especially when Poke Stops are located on private property, such as schools or people’s yards,” Ms Aldersea said.
She said penalties for trespass included imprisonment and hefty fines.
Ms Ball’s Top 10 Mountains Poke Stops:
- Katoomba St, Katoomba
- Echo Point, Katoomba
- Scenic World, Katoomba
- Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath
- Wentworth Falls Lake
- Lawson CBD
- Leura CBD
- Springwood CBD
- Blaxland CBD
- Hazelbrook CBD