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If you’ve been on the internet lately, you may have noticed that a game called Pokémon GO is suddenly taking the world by storm.
Pokémon (short for Pocket Monsters) is a Nintendo franchise that launched in the 1990s. In its world, “trainers” travel the world to catch varied monsters called Pokémon — rats, dragons, swordlike creatures, and more — and use these critters to fight each other. The trainer’s goal is to “catch ’em all,” as the franchise’s slogan suggests, and become a Pokémon master by defeating prestigious trainers known as gym leaders and Elite Four.
Unlike previous Pokémon games, it’s not for Nintendo’s handheld consoles; it’s a free download for Android and iOS devices. It doesn’t play at all like previous Pokémon games: Although the goal is still to catch ’em all, Pokémon GO is an augmented reality game — it mixes real-world elements with the game.