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Pokemon Go: Pokemania arrives, so go catch 'em all in Wolverhampton

Ever wanted your own Pikachu? Or what about a Charizard? Well now you can get one in, er, Sedgley, as the latest mobile craze hits...

Pokemon Go: Pokemania arrives, so go catch 'em all in Wolverhampton

Mobile phone fixed in hand, moving quickly from landmark to landmark and cheering spontaneously in the street.

Millions of people are joining the new phenomenon – Pokemon Go – which is sweeping through the country after its launch yesterday morning.

In Wolverhampton, from the Express & Star's offices in Queen Street to the Man on the 'Oss in the city centre, people are crowding round, eager to catch the fictional creatures from the cult cartoon and video game series.

The aim of the game is to capture, battle, and train virtual Pokémon who appear throughout the real world via the device's GPS system and camera. It uses the location of the player's phone/device to pin-point where the nearest checkpoints (called PokéStops) and animated Pokémon characters are.

The player can then follow the game on their phone/device, whilst walking in the real world, to try and 'catch 'em all'.

Pokémon have so far appeared in a variety of locations across the region, though the game has only just been officially released in the UK.

Supermarkets, restaurants, gardens and parks have unwittingly found themselves included in the online game, which sees random venues across the UK become the 'home' of animated Pokémon characters for players to collect.

And who would have known Wolverhampton was a hotspot for all those sought after Pokémon? People are taking to the city streets in hope of catching a Charmander, Wiggylypuff or Pidgeotto.

Some might say the game is a killer for social engagement, but Games Design student at the University of Wolverhampton, Russell Walls, would argue otherwise.

See more from Native Monster:

  • Top Pokemon Go hotspots in the Midlands and Shropshire

The 21-year-old, who was playing the game next to the fountain in Queens Square, said: "I think it's a great thing. It's getting all the anti-social people out and about and meeting new people.

"I've met round 10 or 15 people in the last few days who have just come up to me and spoken about it. Wolverhampton is probably one of the hotspots in the West Midlands because there are so many different places to get rewards. My friends who live out of the city don't get so many so they're all jealous. I'm a big fan and as a games design student I would say it is a wondrous thing."

The game was only released officially in the UK yesterday after already being available in the US, Australia and Germany – but some gamers in Britain found ways around the country restriction to get early access.

Other hotspots across the region include Morrisons, based on Blaydon Road, Pendeford.

Pokémon Go have confirmed the supermarket chain are the only ones in the UK that contain Pokémon, and there is one right here in Wolverhampton. Gamers have spotted an array of Pokémon within the store, including one Weedle comically rustling around their food aisles.

James French of Morrisons said: "We welcome all Pokémon to our stores. Picking up a Pokémon will not count at our 10 items or less express checkouts."

Other hotspots include Burger Priest, on Victoria Street,

Wolverhampton's West Park – home to a variety of grass and air-type Pokémon from Caterpie to Pidgetto, Venomoth to Spearow – and Sedgley's

The White Horse, The Grand Junction, The Courthouse, the local Scout hut, Sedgley Library and Sedgley church gardens.

Merry Hill Shopping centre is not only great for shopping, it's also become ideal for all of your Pokémon needs too.

There are so many options to explore and capture. So get your phone out, and get on the path to being the greatest Poketrainer of them all.

By Tom Oakley

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