Gotta catch ‘em all: Pokemon Go craze hits West Norfolk

King's Lynn Customs House ANL-150925-121231001
King's Lynn Customs House ANL-150925-121231001

Officially released in the UK yesterday, Pokemon Go is the new ‘augmented reality’ phone app that is gripping the nation.

But how is it affecting West Norfolk?

Well, for starters, Lynn’s Custom House is a Poke Gym on the Pokemon Go map, which is where ‘trainers’ go to battle other trainers’ Pokemon.

And there are various Poke Stops – landmarks or buildings where players can collect more vital game items such as Pokeballs and coins – which are scattered around.

Archers Kitchen and Cocktail Bar on Lynn’s Purfleet Street has joined in on the action with a sign outside its restaurant to direct players to the Custom House Poke Gym and Poke Stops.

Charlie Tostevin, who works at Archers, said that they have had a number of people come in and ask about the sign and take pictures of it.

Archers Cafe in King's Lynn's Purfleet Street displays a Pokemon-Go-related sign outside. ANL-160715-120218001

Archers Cafe in King's Lynn's Purfleet Street displays a Pokemon-Go-related sign outside. ANL-160715-120218001

On social media, people have been voicing their reactions to the app.

Indie Fox said: “Five people standing in different points around the Southgates at the roundabout in #kingslynn. It can only mean one thing. Pokemon battle.”

It seems as if the game is also having education benefits, as Hugo James Chandler said: “Pokemon Go has greatly enhanced my knowledge of Kings Lynn and Wisbech.”

Jessika Barrett said: “Just met a handful of Pokemon Go players in Swaffham this morning. This game is so fun!”

Not all of the reactions have been all that positive though.

Yesterday, Bury St Edmunds police tweeted that four youngsters who had been acting suspiciously in the town centre were actually just playing Pokemon Go at 2am.

Concerns have been raised about children’s safety while using the app, too.

NSPCC officials said that they were worried that children could be preyed on due to the app’s geolocation feature.

The makers of the game – Niantic and The Pokemon Company – have encouraged users to be aware of their surroundings and to play with friends or family when exploring unfamiliar places.

With Nintendo, who own the Pokemon company, enjoying its biggest weekly share price gain in more than 30 years, it seems as though we’ll continue seeing Pokemon hunters in the streets of West Norfolk for some time to come.