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What is Pokemon? Here are a few facts

WILLMAR -- Released on July 6, Pokemon Go is the newest incarnation of the popular Pokemon series, which has included a card game, video games, cartoons, movies and toys. Pokemon was released in Japan in 1996. It started with popular Nintendo Gameboy games, before expanding into the card collecting game and then the cartoon television show.

The goal of the game is to catch pokemon, short for pocket monsters, and then battle other players at pokemon gyms for supremacy. Each pokemon has special powers or battle skills, and at the latest count there were 722 different kinds of pokemon. A pokemon trainer can either collect each type in the wild, by capturing it in a pokeball, or evolve a less powerful pokemon into a stronger type through battle.

Pokemon Go brings the Pokemon experience into the real word by using GPS to track where a player is and places the player on a virtual map of their location. When a pokemon is near, the player’s phone will vibrate and the pokemon will show up on the phone screen. If the player has their phone’s camera enabled, the pokemon looks like it is standing on the sidewalk, in front of a store or even in your own home.

The player then is able to throw a pokeball at the pokemon, in hopes of capturing it. Pokemon Go currently has 250 different types in the game.

In addition to capturing the pokemon, Pokemon Go has also set up virtual places across the country. Pokestops and gyms are placed in different places, usually city landmarks, parks and public gathering places. At a pokestop a player can collect pokeballs or gems and candy used to evolve a pokemon. At gyms a player can battle against another player using their pokemon and their special powers. As a player does more in the game they’ll reach higher levels, earn medals and be able to catch stronger pokemon.

Since its release Pokemon Go has more users than Twitter and is the biggest mobile game in U.S. history, according to SurveyMonkey. On Wednesday there were 21 million daily active users of Pokemon Go in the United States. Currently Pokemon go is offered in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Australia and New Zealand. Eventually the game will be released worldwide.

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