The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Rio’s mayor begs Nintendo to release Pokemon Go in Brazil in time for Olympics

(Alan Diaz/AP)
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The Olympics offer a whole lot for those who crave nail-biting competition, world-class athleticism and human drama, but one thing the upcoming Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro won’t offer is a chance to catch a Pikachu. Or a Charmander. Or a Wartortle. Or anything else having to do with Pokemon Go, the viral smartphone game that’s caused basically caused people to lose their dang minds.

What is really behind the Pokémon Go craze

Now, Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes wants in. On Wednesday (perhaps after he read Post columnist Michael Cavna’s predictive piece on augmented reality?), Paes begged Nintendo to release the game in Brazil by the start of the Games on Aug. 5 so Olympic spectators can catch a Magikarp while watching, say, Michael Phelps attempt to capture his 23rd Olympic medal.

“Hello Nintendo! There are 23 days until the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” Paes wrote on Facebook in Portuguese. “Everybody’s coming. You should come on down too,” he wrote on Facebook, adding #PokemonGoNoBrasil (Pokemon Go in Brazil).

So far, the game has only been officially released in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Germany. There are plans to release it in more European countries soon, followed by Japan (the birthplace of Pokemon) and other Asian countries, Polygon reports. There’s no official word on when the game might be available in South America, however.

Paes’s enthusiasm for Pokemon Go hasn’t been matched by some Brazilians, however, who seem they’d rather have the mayor worry more about pollution, crime and other plights currently affecting the country. The top comment on Paes’s post goes like this:

“The aquatic Pokemon died from superbugs. The land dwellers were robbed and shot. The electric type exploded in the manholes. Flying ones turned to trafficking…”

That comment had 2,650 likes at press time.