Happy Friday! Please don’t die in 100 degree heat this weekend playing Pokemon Go, OK? We’d miss you.
- It’s all over, guys: Someone has already beaten Pokemon Go, at least in North America. You can go back inside now. Of course, he hasn’t caught all the rare ones yet — no one has.
- Apparently back in 2001, religious leaders in Saudi Arabia issued a fatwa against playing Pokemon. The Telegraph reports that an ultraconservative cleric has renewed that fatwa as it applies to Pokemon Go, accusing the game of encouraging gambling and using symbols associated with Israel, Christianity, and polytheism.
- Pokemon Go is finally out in Japan on iOS and Android. Yay! Now Andrew will stop being sad. In fact, Japanese players are hopping on the bandwagon of ways to trick phone sensors into believing they’re moving (and therefore the game will hatch eggs and confer XP). And by bandwagon, I really mean toy trains.
- From CNN, there’s the story of an unnamed reporter who was jokingly called out by State department spokesman John Kirby for playing Pokemon Go during a briefing. Kirby was good-humored about it, even circling back at the end to inquire whether the reporter had caught one and apologizing for the bad internet.
- German activists are threatening Niantic with a lawsuit over Pokemon Go’s alleged violations of Germany’s famously protective privacy laws. Consumer advocates are upset over 15 clauses in the TOS, which (among other things) allows the company to share data at is chooses and binds players to arbitration in California. No doubt US courts will give the German public all the same consideration German courts give us, ja?
- Data from Nielsen’s mobile game tracking tool confirm that the game is exceptionally well-liked but also that’s it’s polarizing: It has higher than average “rejection rates,” with “22% of those surveyed who were aware of the game indicated they had no plans to download it.”
- Pokevision is another contender for a Pokemon Go map, only it’s better — it relies on Niantic’s API rather than on user submissions.
- Did you know that Niantic used the user-submitted database of cool Ingress nodes for its original Pokestop population? It’s true, and that’s why everyone is fighting over that bear statue outside a pancake house in Sacramento. Reddit and VG have a great list of some of the more bizarre locations where you can fight for a node or capture a Pokemon.
- If you’re in Toronto and aren’t opposed to getting into cars with strangers, check out Poke-a-Tours, a service that will drive you around and help you find Pokemon.
- Don’t try this one at home: Vine personality Logan Paul pranked a huge herd of Pokemon Go players in Central Park by shouting the name of a semi-rare Pokemon. He creates quite a dangerous rush of people. Could have gotten ugly fast.
- Lifehacker reblogged a fun user-created playlist for Pokemon Go enthusiasts to listen to, possibly while in a car with strangers on a Poke-a-Tour.
- Finally, MMORPG TERA is getting in on the Pokemon Go action with a new themed event:
The world of TERA has always been home to strange monsters…but some are stranger than others. Introducing “Mongos.” Unlike regular monsters, Mongos can appear in unusual locations and drop special rewards—so it only makes sense to hunt them down, right? From now until 11:59 p.m. PDT on Sunday, July 31, each Mongo you hunt and capture (a.k.a. viciously slay) provides you with a reward, including enchanting materials and cosmetic items. Uncommon and rare Mongos have a chance to drop a special Noble Timber or Noble Moon wolf mount! Players can catch Mongos throughout the event to cause rarer and more powerful “evolved” versions of them to appear, each carrying better rewards. Kill enough of those, and even more evolved versions will appear, with even better rewards! The Mongo population will continue to grow throughout the course of the event, so keep on capturing to get the best rewards!
Thanks to Nordavind and Kiry for passing along a couple of these tips!