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'Meanwhile' is a collaborative blog about all the crazy stuff on the Internet. Here, reporters from various Tribune desks tell you what you (almost) need to know about topics ranging from technology to YouTube sensations. Contributors: Michael McFall, Dave Newlin, Matt Piper, Brennan Smith, Erin Alberty. Edited by Sheena McFarland.

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Popular ‘Pokémon Challenge’ Google’s big April Fool’s joke

Pokémon hunting just went to the next level. Google announced Monday an augmented reality challenge that involves using Google Maps and your smartphone to find the floppy Nintendo creatures as they hide throughout the U.S.

The Pokémon Challenge has become all the sensation on the Internet in just the hours after it was introduced. There’s only one problem: It’s all a big April Fool’s joke by the giant search engine company.

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Google announced The Pokémon Challenge with a video on Monday and showed intrepid Pokémon hunters looking for the creatures with their phones and finding them through augmented reality where the camera phone can spot the animated characters living in the real world.

But of course, augmented reality is not that advanced as much as we wish it was, and therefore, that’s not how the challenge works.

You still, however, can play the mobile game. After you open up Google Maps on either an iOS or Android device, all you have to do is press on the search line, then "Press Start" and it takes you to a cartoon home where you can capture the Nintendo characters peppered throughout the map by just touching them on the screen. There are 150 Pokémon characters to look for.


Twitter: @ohmytech

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