Pokémon Go Taking Off In Iceland - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Pokémon Go Taking Off In Iceland

Published July 13, 2016

Photos by
Paul Fontaine

Despite not even being released in Iceland yet, the popular mobile game is already taking off here, and Iceland’s particular environment makes the country very suited to Pokémon trainers.

A mobile game based on the legendary item-collecting grindfest, Pokémon Go compels people to head outside to capture wild Pokémons, collect items at Pokéstops, and battle against other teams at Gyms. Even though the game has yet to be officially released in Iceland, it has already taken off running.

Vísir reports that numerous Icelanders and visitors to Iceland alike have been playing it, and if you see someone walking in Reykjavík in a meandering fashion with their faces in their screens, you may be witnessing a Pokémon hunter in the wild.

Wild pokémons can be found all over Iceland and, just like their cousins in other countries, are related to the natural setting in which they are found, e.g., water-based Pokémons are usually near bodies of water. The Pokéstops in the greater Reykjavík area are noteworthy as well. As the city is practically rife with statues and graffiti, there is a particularly high concentration of Pokéstops downtown.

Iceland’s cultural connection with Lutheranism has also helped prospective Pokémon Go players. Gyms are very often located at churches, and as even the tiniest villages in Iceland have their own churches – and there are dozens of churches in the capital area alone – Pokémon trainers across the country should have no trouble finding others to do battle with.

Even if you are not a competitive gamer, Pokémon Go does arguably give people an excuse to go on long walks and check out places of interest in the area. If you’re bored in Reykjavík and own a smartphone, there are worse ways to get to know the city.

The official release date for Pokémon Go in Iceland has yet to be announced.

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