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Man claims to quit job to play 'Pokemon Go' full-time

A man from New Zealand apparently has done what some Pokemon players would love to: Tom Currie left his job to travel the country and catch virtual Pokemon characters.

Currie is on his way, trying to catch as many of the characters on the viral hit "Pokemon Go" app, Newshub reported.

Currie is 24 and will take the next two months trying to capture all of the Pokemon.

Just had an interview with The Guardian UK! www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/15/pokemon-go-man-quits-job-to-become-full-time-pokemon-hunter #pokemon A photo posted by NZ Pokémon Trainer Tomblebee (@tomblebee) on Jul 14, 2016 at 9:04pm PDT

He's booked 20 bus trips around the country and has captured 90 of the 151 Pokemon released in in "Pokemon Go."

But how and why would Currie leave his job to embark on a game?

"I wanted to have an adventure. I have been working for six years and I was desperate for a break. And Pokemon gave me the chance to live that dream," Currie told The Guardian.

Currie is also getting support from all over the world, including transportation companies which are offering to take him to the more remote locations of New Zealand to search for rare Pokemon.

Nintendo relives the past with new console release

Old school gaming is going to take over televisions this fall and winter.

Nintendo is releasing a miniature system that looks like the original Nintendo Entertainment System.

>> Read more trending stories  

It will have 30 built-in games and connects to a television with an HDMI cable, The Verge reported

The designers also looked to the past for the controller, copying the original NES gamepad. 

But there is one downside. Players won't be able to use the old cartridges that are collecting dust in their closet. 

The NES Classic Edition will be available November 11 for $59.99.

Classic games like "Galaga," "Donkey Kong," "Castlevania" and the "Super Mario Bros." series will be included in the 30 games.

A Sega Genesis emulator has been on the market for those who want the 16-bit gaming experience. That machine takes the old Sega Genesis cartridges.

There are also Atari and Intellivision consoles that resemble their original counterparts available.

Indiana animal shelter urging 'Pokemon Go' players to walk dogs

An animal shelter in Muncie, Indiana, is asking "Pokemon Go" users to walk shelter dogs while they play the game.

>> Read more trending stories  

The augmented reality game encourages players to get up and out while they hunt for Pokemon characters.

"Pokemon Go" collects GPS information from players' smartphones to place Pokemon in locations that are within walkable distances. Many characters are placed in public places.

>> What is 'Pokemon Go?'

The Muncie Animal Shelter started the volunteer program Tuesday after the shelter director, Phil Peckinpaugh, was inspired by his 6-year-old daughter, Ruthie, and his 7-year-old nephew, who both play the game, ABC News reported.

"I started playing with Ruthie, and it was actually pretty fun," he told ABC. "Then the other day, while on my way to work, I noticed droves of young people walking around playing this game. I thought, 'Wouldn't it be great if all those people were walking with our dogs?'"

Peckinpaugh created the program Pokemon Dogs to push his idea. 

He created a flier and posted about the program on the shelter's Facebook page.  The Facebook post has been shared more than 25,000 times.

Come out to the Muncie Animal Shelter between 10am-5:30pm any day and walk an adoptable dog as you hunt for Pokemon and hatch eggs!Posted by Muncie Animal Shelter on Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Peckinpaugh said lots of people have already begun participating in the Pokemon Dogs program. 

"There's been an incredible response, and it's just kind of taken off," he said. "We even had to go and buy more leashes this morning."

Peckinpaugh said about 75 adoptable dogs can be taken out for walks.

"Just swing by and come to our front desk and ask for the Pokemon Dogs," he said. "And then, you know, maybe you even fall in love and come back and adopt that dog one day."

Church says no-go to ‘Pokemon Go'

A Renton, Washington, pastor wants to opt out of the new "Pokemon Go" game because of safety concerns.

Mark Kilcup is senior pastor of East Renton Community Church. He told KIRO 7 that cars have been loitering around the play structure behind his church on 156th Avenue Southeast since the popular game debuted last week. Tuesday morning, a pickup truck Kilcup didn’t recognize parked near the structure, so he snapped images of it on his cellphone and then confronted the driver. In cellphone video he shared with KIRO 7, Kilcup asked the driver “What are you up to?” The driver responded “We’re just playing 'Pokemon.'”

>> Read more trending stories  

“We are concerned about people we don’t know that are near our play set because the safety of these children is our No. 1 priority,” Kilcup said.

Kilcup said he called the Renton Police Department and the King County Sheriff’s Office -- not because he wanted anyone arrested for playing "Pokemon Go," but because he wanted to know if there was a way he could prevent the game from being played on church property.  He said both law enforcement agencies told him to take the issue up with staff at The Pokemon Company International’s office in Bellevue. So Kilcup drove to Pokemon’s office on 108th Avenue Northeast, where he said he was told to go, and was told the company’s legal department would be in touch.

So far, Kilcup said he has not received a response.

Meanwhile, "Pokemon Go" players continue to show up at the play structure.

“We would like to opt out of this "Pokemon Go" game,” Kilcup said, believing his request shouldn’t be a difficult one to honor. “They should have anticipated problems like this. They should have a team of people ready to resolve a conflict like this, if they’re a responsible gaming company.”

KIRO 7 has also contacted Pokemon and a representative from its media relations company, Triple Point, in San Francisco, for comment but has received no response so far.

What is 'Pokemon Go?'

"Pokemon Go" is everywhere. It's being talked about on television, all the online news outlets are writing about it and either your child, family member or some other person you know is playing it. 

But what is "Pokemon Go?"

>> Read more trending stories 

"Pokemon Go" is a game that can be downloaded via a free app on any smartphone -- either iPhone and Android.

The game collects settings from users' phones, including GPS and the local time, to detect where and when they are active in the game. With that information, developers have generated Pokemon that appear around users and in the environments near them.

The combination of the game and the real-world element is called augmented reality.

As users move around and seek out the characters, Pokemon appear depending on where they are and what time it is, Vox reported.

The game instructs the user, referred to as a Pokemon trainer, to track down and capture the Pokemon characters in public places.

The game encourages players to get up and out, taking users to different locations. Some have said that the game encourages users to exercise and see other things beside their phone screens.

A lot of people who play the game say it's fun and that they have created meet-up groups to play the game with friends and strangers.

Read more here.

'Pokemon Go' keeps tabs on you as you chase down Pikachu

Facebook feeds are filling with quests to collect them all, but how much information are you willingly, albeit unknowingly, giving to the app's developers?

Millions of users are allowing the "Pokemon Go" app to access to their personal data and location, all in an effort to collect the virtual Pokemon characters.

And you have no choice if you want to play the popular game.

>>Related: 'Pokemon Go' may have access to your full Google account

The company then has the right to share any and all of the data it collects with third parties, including people who pay companies for your information, as well as law enforcement, USA Today reported.

>> Read more trending stories  

Tech watchers are now concerned about the massive database the game is compiling on everyone who is playing worldwide.

So how can you educate yourself on what you're giving to companies?

You know that privacy policy you have to accept on nearly every app? The details are buried in the fine print, USA Today reported

But are there risks to "Pokemon Go" collecting the data?

Jason Hong, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University, said that it depends on how Niatic, the company that developed "Pokemon Go," uses it.

If the company uses it to monetize data for advertising, it could be a larger privacy threat than using it for in-app purchases.

For more on the data being collected, as well as what the privacy policy says, click here.

If you think Pokemon Go is taking over, you may be right

Augmented reality is starting to take over real reality in the form of Pikachu and the rest of the Pokemon characters.

The wildly popular video game series, normally the realm of children, has taken over the lives of adults thanks to "Pokemon Go."

And if you think that the game has taken over your friends' and even your life since its release last week, you may be right. 

>>Related: Teen finds dead body while playing 'Pokemon Go' smartphone game

According to web watchers, "Pokemon Go" is bigger than Tinder, Business Insider reported.

By July 7, it was installed on more US Android-based phones than the dating app, Similar Web found.

>>Related: Google revealed 'Pokemon Go' 2 years ago, and we thought it was a joke

It's also giving Twitter a run for its money when it comes to engagement.

Similar Web said that the number of Daily Active Users is nearly as high as Twitter and could overtake the social media platform.

The game is only available officially in the US, Australia and New Zealand for now, but it is available through back channels using an apk, or Android application package used to bypass the company's app store.

'Pokemon Go' will turn your smartphone into a Pokedex

Nintendo is planning to put Pokemon on your phone sometime in the next month. No, it's not porting over the classic games just yet; the company's launching a new alternate-reality game called "Pokemon Go."

>> Read more trending stories

Developed by Google spinoff Niantic, "Pokemon Go" is a free-to-download game for iOS and Android that requires you to wander around the real world looking for pokemon to catch. 

The game uses your phone's camera to project a pokemon model on the real world. One well-timed pokeball throw is enough to capture most pokemon; from there, the game lets you level up and evolve the pokemon you catch.

"Pokemon Go" also borrows some elements of territory control from Niantic's first game, "Ingress." "Pokemon Go" splits the player base into three different teams and lets them fight over control of real-world locations.

Nintendo is also planning to release a Fitbit-like gadget for around $35, though that won't launch until sometime after the main game. The device syncs up with your phone and is meant to let you play the game without walking around, looking at a screen the whole time.

For now, it looks like the game is limiting itself to the original 150 pokemon, but that might not last long. Two other new Pokemon games, "Pokemon Sun" and "Pokemon Moon," are set to launch in November this year with a whole new slate of possible pokemon to add.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xWURTw_qfq8?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Gamer surprises girlfriend with 'Super Mario Bros' proposal

"Geeks do it better!"

That's what Shane Birkinbine wrote in the caption for a video that captured his unique proposal to his girlfriend last week.

>> Read more trending stories  

In the video, Birkinbine's girlfriend, Pam Edwards, plays the legendary "Super Mario Bros." video game with encouragement from Birkinbine.

Before long, Edwards' Mario character approaches a series of brick blocks.

"What does that say," Birkinbine asks his girlfriend.

"Where?" she answers.

"The blocks," he answers. "It spells out your name."

Delighted, Edwards asks Birkinbine how her name appears in the game.

Birkinbine, a self-proclaimed master gamer, says he built the level on Super Mario Bros Maker.

As Edwards' character continues to navigate through the level, the message is spelled out in full: "Pam, will you marry me?"

"Yes, of course," she says while laughing.

"Alright, go finish (the game) now," he says after the positive reply.

Edwards and Birkinbine met on Match.com a year and eight months ago, USA Today reported.

"Pam bought me the game for the Nintendo Wii several months ago," Birkinbine told USA Today. "Being busy with life and working, I had not had a chance to create my own level. So, it came to me to make the very first level a marriage proposal. It just seemed to fit as we both enjoy Mario games. So, over the course of a week, I would work on it after I got home in the evenings when she was fast asleep."

If any other Mario-loving gamer wants to borrow Birkinbine's proposal idea or if anyone simply wants to play through the proposal level, the level code is 7A61-0000-0245-8DE8, Geekologie reported.

<iframe width="390" height="219" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eKW76gljNxA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Police officer gives child his own Pokemon collection after collection was stolen

A Cleveland police officer has become a hero to a 9-year-old Ohio boy whose Pokemon collection was stolen.

Bryce Angelone had been collecting the cards for about three years and he said they meant a lot to him since he began trading with friends.

He had been walking to a friend's home last week when another child took his binder of cards out of his hands and ran away, WJW reported.

Bryce's mother called police to report it, who ended up finding the binder.

>> Read more trending stories

But the sad news was that some of Bryce's treasured cards were missing.

James Grotenrath, one of the officers who responded, went above the call of duty.

He went to his home and found his own Pokemon collection to give to Bryce.

Some of the cards in Bryce's collection are rare.

"It's a banned card of Pokemon and there's only about 10 of these in the world and I have one of them," Bryce told WJW.

"It's a priceless item, but it's better to see someone else smile, and in my book, like my partner says, it's just happy to see a citizen smile instead of always frowning upon us and looking the other way," Grotenrath said.

Police told WJW that the child who took the cards is a few years older than Bryce. He got a "good talking to," but they didn't file charges against him, WJW reported.

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