One man is taking the Pokemon slogan, “Gotta catch ‘em all!” a little too literally after quitting his job to become a full-time hunter and trainer.
Tom Currie, a former barista and bartender in Auckland, New Zealand, has gone on a two-month tour to find the digital beasts on Pokrmon Go, the augmented reality mobile game. The 24-year-old will be following the game’s GPS on a quest to find all 151 Pokemon characters hiding in and around New Zealand. Currie says of his adventure: “I love to walk, and I love to explore, so seeing all of these beautiful towns while catching Pokemon and making friends along the way is like a dream come true.”
Why have you decided to become a full-time Pokemon hunter?
When I was younger I loved Pokemon — the games, the anime and the toys. While taking a short two-week break to visit my dad I downloaded Pokemon Go on day one and really enjoyed the nostalgia that came with playing the game. I decided that to do the game justice and also to carry on my holiday that I was enjoying I would travel my country all over in an effort to be a Pokemon master.
What's so good about this game?
The fact that you have to be physically moving out of the house and exploring is a huge draw for me. This is Pokemon's first big app game and considering how many fans the franchise has and how many of those fans have smartphones, it's not hard to see why this game is so popular.
Are you actually making money on the game?
No, I haven't made any money from the game. In fact, I spend a little money on it to activate modules that give me and other players the chance to catch more Pokemon in a certain area. Having these definitely brings smiles to the faces of other Pokemon Trainers as they flock to the PokeStop.
What was the most exiting experience you've had while playing the game?
While I was staying in Kaikoura I hired a bike for the day and rode all around a huge peninsula there with cliff top ocean views and snow-capped mountains to the north. It was just magical to see and photograph and I even got a couple of seal selfies while catching Pokemon here. Another cool experience has been other Pokemon Trainers recognizing me and having a chat or a photo. One guy even said I am his hero, which is pretty crazy.
What are the most important goals you are trying to achieve while playing?
To have fun. I know there will be players playing a lot longer and harder than I am, so to be the very best in the world may not be achievable (I'll try though). The game is at the end of the day another form of entertainment and entertainment is there for you to enjoy.
When I catch both Mewtwo and Mew I will be over the moon — that is a big goal of mine. I also really want to catch a Ditto; I haven't even seen one yet. This journey is getting more exciting every day now and I look forward to the next two months.
I’m the kind of person that takes every day as it comes, and it has worked out a treat for the last six years. I am in no hurry to move back anywhere; I may even continue my travels overseas. It would be amazing to catch Pokemon all over the world.