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Birding is basically Pokémon Go IRL.
Science Twitter is totally into Pokémon Go, and not just because most scientists are nerds who played the games, collected the cards, and watched the show when they were kids. Instead, they’re seeing it as an opportunity to help people get closer to nature.
The LA Times reported that many researchers are using a hashtag #PokeBlitz for people who run into actual animals while catching virtual ones to get some species identified.
And it’s actually working!
Some naturalists are even reaching out to people who aren’t using or don’t know of the hashtag.
Another group has splintered off to create a Pokédex-style index of their animals of study using the #PokemonIRL hashtag.
And, once people get sick of playing Pokémon Go (if they ever do, that is) perhaps they’ll be interested to know that there’s a non-augmented reality Pokémon Go-style game that’s been around for literally centuries.
Yessss, nerds. Catch those Pokemon. One day you will catch them all, and birdwatching will be waiting for you. Mwahahahaha
— Bird and Moon (@RosemaryMosco) July 8, 2016
Cynthia McKelvey covered the health and science for the Daily Dot until 2017. She earned a graduate degree in science communication from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2014. Her work has appeared in Gizmodo, Scientific American Mind, and Mic.com.