(KMSP) - If you've noticed people with their heads buried in their phones more than usual, you are not imagining things.
A new smartphone game is encouraging people to get outside and "catch 'em all."
Its ironic a place called Purgatory Creek would be heaven for Pokémon fans.
"Its a really great spot to catch all the Pokémon," Pokémon GO player Nicole Franklin said. "Its a big nostalgia trip for me. I played this a lot when I was a kid. So it’s like reliving your childhood a bit."
What started as a popular trading card game in the 90's now uses GPS and what it calls "augmented reality" to take users on a virtual scavenger hunt for characters like Pikachu and Squirtle.
"I had my Fitbit tracker on. I walked 26,000 steps my first day playing. That was a day I didn't even bring my phone to work so its kind of a crazy amount you can walk," Franklin said.
Linda Davis of Bloomington says the game is getting her son, Matthew, out of the house.
"We went for a walk a few days ago and he was walking in the middle of the street. and I said 'Wait. We need to have some rules and boundaries on this'," Davis said.
She says it’s also helping her bond with a teenager who doesn't always want to hang out with his mom.
"Before when I was grocery shopping or doing errands, he didn’t want to go," Davis said. "But, he wants to come with me."
While some businesses aren't fans of the game, others like Moto-I have signs luring players inside with the promise of catching game characters.
"We have noticed a bump in business. More so we've noticed chatter about it. People think it’s funny and way to connect with us, which is something we are really good at in our community," Moto-I general manager Katie Muller said.
But, players are more than happy to exercise their right to have fun for as long as they can.
“I'll probably play until the end of summer or until I catch them all,” Franklin said.
Even though the game has been out for less than a week, it nearly has more users than Twitter.
Some police departments are warning people if they are playing to make sure they are aware of their surroundings and stay safe.