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Belgians are Hunting Books, instead of Pokemon | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A man uses a mobile phone in front of an advertisement board bearing the image of Pokemon Go at an electronic shop in Tokyo, Japan, July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

Giving books a new lease of life and following the outstanding success of Pokemon Go, a Belgian primary school headmaster has developed an online game that permits people to search for books instead of cartoon monsters.

While with Pokemon Go, players use a mobile device’s GPS and camera to track virtual creatures around town, Aveline Gregoire’s version is played through a Facebook group called “Chasseurs de livres” (“Book hunters”).

In few weeks only, the game succeeded in attracting tens of thousands of players where more than 40,000 signed up to the group to play.

Books are hidden by players who post pictures and hints about the secret place of these books, and accordingly others go to hunt them down. The books are released back once someone gets through with them.

“While I was arranging my library, I realized I didn’t have enough space for all my books. Having played Pokemon Go with my kids, I had the idea of releasing the books into nature,” Gregoire stated.

The hidden books range from books for toddlers through to Stephen King horrors, placed around Belgian towns and countryside, often wrapped in clear plastic to keep off the rain.

The Detournay family from the town of Baudour in southern Belgium said the game was now part of their morning walks. They found one book and left four others for people to find.