What's troubling athletes in Rio? No "Pokemon Go" In this Thursday, July 28, 2016, file photo, fans play the highly addictive "Pokemon Go" game during a gathering in central Madrid, Spain, to play the computer game. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza, File/AP Photo/David Goldman)
What's troubling athletes in Rio? No "Pokemon Go"
Lexile

So who cares that the plumbing and electricity in the athletes' village took several days to fix? But no "Pokemon Go" is an outrage!
 
If there were ever a more "First World problem" for the Zika-plagued, water-polluted Rio de Janeiro Olympics, it's Brazil's lack of access to the hit mobile game, which has united players the world over.
 
Since debuting to wild adulation in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand this month, the game from Google spinoff Niantic Inc. has spread like wildfire, launching in more than 30 countries or territories - but not Brazil.
 
For athletes and other visitors caught up in the wave, not having access is just one more knock against an Olympics that officials are racing to get ready. The opening ceremony takes place Aug. 5.
 
"I wish I could run around in the (athletes') village catching Pokemon," New Zealand soccer player Anna Green said. "I just can't get it on the phone. It's fine, but it would have been something fun to do."
 
What will she do instead? "Train," she replied.
 
Niantic didn't reply to a request for comment on when the game might be released in Brazil. And though social media rumors point to an imminent release for the game, similar rumors in Japan resulted in heightened expectations and the sense of delay before its debut there recently.
 
British canoer Joe Clarke tweeted, with a broken-hearted sad face, a screenshot of his player on a deserted map near the rugby, equestrian and modern pentathlon venues in Rio's Deodoro neighborhood. The map was devoid of PokeStops, which are fictional supply caches linked to real-world landmarks. No Pokemon monsters to catch either: There was nary a Starmie nor a Clefairy to be found.
 
"Sorry guys no #pokemon in the Olympic Village," tweeted French canoer Matthieu Peche, followed by three crying-face emoji. Getting equal billing in his Twitter stream was a snapshot of a letter of encouragement from French President Francois Hollande.
 
Players with the app already downloaded elsewhere appear to be able to see a digital map of their surroundings when they visit Rio. But without PokeStops or Pokemon, the game isn't much fun. It would be like getting on a football field - soccer to Americans - but not having a ball to kick or goals to defend.
 
Many competitors in the athletes' village took it in stride, though. Canadian field hockey player Matthew Sarmento said it would give him more time to meet other athletes. But he would have welcomed Pokemon during downtime in competition, adding that, "sometimes it's good to take your mind off the important things and let yourself chill."
 
In Pokemon countries like the U.S., PokeStops are being used to attract living, breathing customers. In San Francisco, for example, dozens of restaurants and coffee shops have set up lures that attract rare Pokemon, along with potential new patrons looking to catch them.
 
That's presumably one reason why Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, plagued by a host of bad news from player robberies to faulty plumbing, urged Niantic investor Nintendo to release the game in Brazil.
 
"Everybody is coming here. You should also come!" Paes wrote in Portuguese on his Facebook page, adding the hashtag #PokemonGoNoBrasil - "Pokemon Go" in Brazil.
 
His post generated responses such as this: "The aquatic Pokemon died with superbugs."
 
One video circulating virally, with more than 3.5 million views, shows a fan identifying himself as Joel Vieira questioning how Brazil can host the Olympics but not Pokemon.
 
"I can't play! I am not allowed to know how it really feels to see the little animals on my cell phone," he said on the video. "Because we don't have it in Brazil, yet. But we are having the Olympics."
 
So when the Olympics kick off, will Pikachu be there to witness it? The world is watching with bated Poke-breath.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why hasn't Niantic released Pokemon Go in Brazil?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (23)
  • lexusd-pel
    8/10/2016 - 09:50 a.m.

    Niantic hasn't released Pokemon Go in Brazil, because through every game it comes to that point where people get devoted to it, where everyone is playing it (as in worldwide) and the game starts to have difficulties and the people that had created the game are trying to fix it to where they can release the game. Also, they may feel that it might distract the athletes. After many complaints about not having Pokemon Go, they are going to release the game in Rio soon.

  • allent-pel
    8/11/2016 - 10:53 a.m.

    because they are a very athletic place and pokemon go will distract the athletes from training and if they did it would be dangerous

  • daytonb-pel
    8/11/2016 - 10:54 a.m.

    Pokemon go would disrupt the Olympics so they will wait before they release Pokemon go in Brasil.

  • haileyc-pel
    8/11/2016 - 10:57 a.m.

    The have not released the game in Brazil because it was not ready to launch.

  • jazminb-pel
    8/11/2016 - 11:05 a.m.

    I think Niantic hasn't released Pokemon Go in Brazil because they want everyone focusing on the Olympics and not a game the entire time.

  • peytonc-pel
    8/11/2016 - 11:08 a.m.

    Niantic hasn't released Pokemon Go in Brazil due to the Olympics and the countries weaknesses,such as electricity and clean water. They eventually will drop it to fill the hype and to be there when the games start.

  • corindai-pel
    8/11/2016 - 11:09 a.m.

    He may not have released it yet because he knew the Olympics was coming and he had to get ready for it and have everything set up. Weather anyone likes that you can not play this ridiculous game in Brazil they need to be training and getting to know their opponents instead of playing a game on their phones that will not help in win a gold medal. Also fifty-two percent of Brazil does not have internet to play this game so why should they have it if they can not really play it.

  • rodolfoc-pel
    8/11/2016 - 11:13 a.m.

    Niantic hasn't released Pokemon Go in Brazil, because of the olympics. Maybe because of the chaos that would happen. Civilians might go "looking" for Pokemon where the athletes are stationed. Another reason is that there might not be that much people paying attention to it. It showed the opposite the athletes, as well as, the civilians where requesting it.

  • annag-pel
    8/11/2016 - 11:23 a.m.

    Because the Olympics is taking place in Brazil and the people hosting the Olympics didn't want the Olympians from Brazil to be distracted from their training.

    • annag-pel
      9/01/2016 - 11:07 a.m.

      There are bigger issues that their government believe should be more focused on then Pokemon Go.

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