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Pokémon Go Craze Catching On In Westchester

Playing Pokémon Go. Photo Credit: Submitted
Yonkers resident Rachel Nathan is addicted to Pokémon Go. Photo Credit: Submitted

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Westchesterites of all ages are officially addicted to Pokémon Go.

Ever since the release of the game a few days ago, Nintendo has added $7 billion to the value of the company, creating an app that allows users to get as close as they'd ever imagined to being an official Pokémon catcher. The app, which uses your phone's GPS and clock to detect where and when you're in the game, allows users to catch the creatures in real-life environments viewable on smart devices.

Asher Roseman, 11, of Larchmont, calls Pokémon Go "one of the most anticipated games of the year" and likes how it "lets you discover local historical places while also combining that trip with a game."

As fast as you can say "viral," it's become a cultural sensation, especially among those who grew up collecting the cards.

New Rochelle resident Daniel Baquero, 26, counts himself among them, saying the new app allows him to fulfill his childhood dream of being a Pokémon trainer.

On a recent trip to Atlantic City he found himself walking -- and scoping out -- the boardwalk hoping to find a new Pokémon to catch so he could brag to his friends.

"Now that I'm back home, all there is to do is wander into Glen Island or ask the person next to me where to find some Pokémon," he said. "The funny thing is you can ask a kid that's six or an adult that's 26 about Pokémon Go. That's how you know this game has had a lasting effect on all of us."

Rachel Nathan who grew up in Scarsdale but now lives in Yonkers, knows the feeling. She's loved the game since she was seven (she's 22 now) and spent part of the past couple days driving around Scarsdale and White Plains looking for PokéStops, basically notable locations in the real world marked on your in-game map.

A lot of the PokéStops she's found so far include statues, plaques and memorials. According to Nathan, there's one outside Pizza & Brew on Central Avenue in Scarsdale, another by Amendola's Pizzeria near the Hartsdale train station.

In Yonkers, local resident Kenn Campbell, a fan since he was young -- he even has an official Pokémon card collection book -- is having fun spotting Pokémon in town. The best part, he said, is watching his childhood favorites come to life again.

Adds Nathan: "I love what technology can do. It's incredible seeing something so pure grow so much, while still being handheld and mobile."

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