"Pokemon Go" is everywhere. It's being talked about on television, all the online news outlets are writing about it and either your child, family member or some other person you know is playing it.
But what is "Pokemon Go?"
"Pokemon Go" is a game that can be downloaded via a free app on any smartphone -- either iPhone and Android.
The game collects settings from users' phones, including GPS and the local time, to detect where and when they are active in the game. With that information, developers have generated Pokemon that appear around users and in the environments near them.
The combination of the game and the real-world element is called augmented reality.
As users move around and seek out the characters, Pokemon appear depending on where they are and what time it is, Vox reported.
The game instructs the user, referred to as a Pokemon trainer, to track down and capture the Pokemon characters in public places.
The game encourages players to get up and out, taking users to different locations. Some have said that the game encourages users to exercise and see other things beside their phone screens.
A lot of people who play the game say it's fun and that they have created meet-up groups to play the game with friends and strangers.
Facebook feeds are filling with quests to collect them all, but how much information are you willingly, albeit unknowingly, giving to the app's developers?
Millions of users are allowing the "Pokemon Go" app to access to their personal data and location, all in an effort to collect the virtual Pokemon characters.
And you have no choice if you want to play the popular game.
The company then has the right to share any and all of the data it collects with third parties, including people who pay companies for your information, as well as law enforcement, USA Today reported.
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Tech watchers are now concerned about the massive database the game is compiling on everyone who is playing worldwide.
So how can you educate yourself on what you're giving to companies?
But are there risks to "Pokemon Go" collecting the data?
Jason Hong, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University, said that it depends on how Niatic, the company that developed "Pokemon Go," uses it.
If the company uses it to monetize data for advertising, it could be a larger privacy threat than using it for in-app purchases.
Augmented reality is starting to take over real reality in the form of Pikachu and the rest of the Pokemon characters.
The wildly popular video game series, normally the realm of children, has taken over the lives of adults thanks to "Pokemon Go."
And if you think that the game has taken over your friends' and even your life since its release last week, you may be right.
According to web watchers, "Pokemon Go" is bigger than Tinder, Business Insider reported.
By July 7, it was installed on more US Android-based phones than the dating app, Similar Web found.
It's also giving Twitter a run for its money when it comes to engagement.
Similar Web said that the number of Daily Active Users is nearly as high as Twitter and could overtake the social media platform.
The game is only available officially in the US, Australia and New Zealand for now, but it is available through back channels using an apk, or Android application package used to bypass the company's app store.
Nintendo is planning to put Pokemon on your phone sometime in the next month. No, it's not porting over the classic games just yet; the company's launching a new alternate-reality game called "Pokemon Go."
Developed by Google spinoff Niantic, "Pokemon Go" is a free-to-download game for iOS and Android that requires you to wander around the real world looking for pokemon to catch.
The game uses your phone's camera to project a pokemon model on the real world. One well-timed pokeball throw is enough to capture most pokemon; from there, the game lets you level up and evolve the pokemon you catch.
"Pokemon Go" also borrows some elements of territory control from Niantic's first game, "Ingress." "Pokemon Go" splits the player base into three different teams and lets them fight over control of real-world locations.
Nintendo is also planning to release a Fitbit-like gadget for around $35, though that won't launch until sometime after the main game. The device syncs up with your phone and is meant to let you play the game without walking around, looking at a screen the whole time.
For now, it looks like the game is limiting itself to the original 150 pokemon, but that might not last long. Two other new Pokemon games, "Pokemon Sun" and "Pokemon Moon," are set to launch in November this year with a whole new slate of possible pokemon to add.
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"Geeks do it better!"
That's what Shane Birkinbine wrote in the caption for a video that captured his unique proposal to his girlfriend last week.
In the video, Birkinbine's girlfriend, Pam Edwards, plays the legendary "Super Mario Bros." video game with encouragement from Birkinbine.
Before long, Edwards' Mario character approaches a series of brick blocks.
"What does that say," Birkinbine asks his girlfriend.
"Where?" she answers.
"The blocks," he answers. "It spells out your name."
Delighted, Edwards asks Birkinbine how her name appears in the game.
Birkinbine, a self-proclaimed master gamer, says he built the level on Super Mario Bros Maker.
As Edwards' character continues to navigate through the level, the message is spelled out in full: "Pam, will you marry me?"
"Yes, of course," she says while laughing.
"Alright, go finish (the game) now," he says after the positive reply.
Edwards and Birkinbine met on Match.com a year and eight months ago, USA Today reported.
"Pam bought me the game for the Nintendo Wii several months ago," Birkinbine told USA Today. "Being busy with life and working, I had not had a chance to create my own level. So, it came to me to make the very first level a marriage proposal. It just seemed to fit as we both enjoy Mario games. So, over the course of a week, I would work on it after I got home in the evenings when she was fast asleep."
If any other Mario-loving gamer wants to borrow Birkinbine's proposal idea or if anyone simply wants to play through the proposal level, the level code is 7A61-0000-0245-8DE8, Geekologie reported.
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A Cleveland police officer has become a hero to a 9-year-old Ohio boy whose Pokemon collection was stolen.
Bryce Angelone had been collecting the cards for about three years and he said they meant a lot to him since he began trading with friends.
He had been walking to a friend's home last week when another child took his binder of cards out of his hands and ran away, WJW reported.
Bryce's mother called police to report it, who ended up finding the binder.
But the sad news was that some of Bryce's treasured cards were missing.
James Grotenrath, one of the officers who responded, went above the call of duty.
He went to his home and found his own Pokemon collection to give to Bryce.
Some of the cards in Bryce's collection are rare.
"It's a banned card of Pokemon and there's only about 10 of these in the world and I have one of them," Bryce told WJW.
"It's a priceless item, but it's better to see someone else smile, and in my book, like my partner says, it's just happy to see a citizen smile instead of always frowning upon us and looking the other way," Grotenrath said.
How much do you know about Mother's Day? Test your knowledge of the holiday with these five questions. Don't forget to tell us how you did in the comments below!
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What is an eight-letter word that is also a great game for those who think they have an extended vocabulary? The answer is Scrabble and April 13 is the day to celebrate the board game that gets you thinking and spelling.
Here are nine fast facts about Scrabble.
1. Inventor Alfred Mosher Butts first got the idea for the word game in 1930, a year before he was laid off from his job as an architect.
2. National Scrabble Day is on April 13. Butts was born on April 13, 1899.
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3. Scrabble officially went into mass production in 1948, but didn’t become popular with American families until 1952, when legend states Macy’s started to sell it.
4. The Highest Word Score on record with the North American Scrabble Players Association was played by Karl Khoshnaw during a tournament on April 11, 1982. The word was: CAZIQUES. It was 392 points. It is the plural of cazique, a type of birth in South America.
5. There are 101 “official” two letter words recognized by Hasbro for Scrabble play.
6. According to Merriam Webster, there are 136 words without vowels.
7. The 2016 North American SCRABBLE Championship will be held August 6 – 10 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
8. There are 187,179 words available for play in a game of Scrabble.
9. The definition of the word scrabble is to move the hands or feet in an awkward and hurried way in order to find or do something.
This video includes clips from Monopoly World Championships, Hasbro and CreditCards.com.
Paper money — that's what Hasbro has stripped from the latest edition of its classic Monopoly board game.
The banker has also been replaced with a small ATM-like contraption. In place of the Monopoly currency, players will use debit cards to make purchases and pay fees.
Removing the paper money may mean players will lose fewer parts, but what about the whole money-managing lesson? Or was the lesson supposed to be something about capitalism? Either way, removing those dollar bills will undoubtedly change the way the game is played.
Just like how using a credit card in real life has been linked to overspending, for psychological reasons, this new "Ultimate Banking" edition of Monopoly could make more players go bankrupt a lot faster.
But that might also make the game end sooner, which many agree could be really nice.
Hasbro's "Ultimate Banking" Monopoly edition will be in stores this fall.
The Oscars are Feb. 28, and this year marks the sixth time Leonardo DiCaprio has been nominated for Actor in a Leading Role.
London-based animation studio The Line decided to have fun with this fact by creating "Leo's Red Carpet Rampage," an 8-bit game designed by artist Max van der Merwe.
Sam Taylor and Bjorn-Erik Aschim came up with the concept of the arcade-style game, which features DiCaprio running down a red carpet chasing an Oscar.
He battles paparazzi and other obstacles to get the industry's highest award.
But Leo isn't just jumping over paparazzi. Lady Gaga makes a walk down the red carpet, too.
Leo faces the other Oscar nominees for Actor in a Leading Role as well.
Walking the red carpet are Eddie Redmayne as Einar Wegener in "The Danish Girl," Bryan Cranston as Dalton Trumbo in "Trumbo," Matt Damon as Mark Watney in "The Martian" and Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs in the movie of the same name.
Along the way, you can get Emmys, Golden Globes, SAG Awards and other industry awards.
There are also mini-games that poke fun at memorable Leo moments, like the famous car-and-quaaludes scene in "The Wolf of Wall Street."
One mini-game pokes fun at the lack of Oscars diversity. Players have to "find the black nominee."
Watch a trailer of the game below, and play it for yourself here.
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