Pokemon Go took the world by storm when it was released in July. Millions have downloaded the game and people are going crazy in their quest to ‘catch ‘em all’. But the people in Belgium have found a more creative and educational substitute to this popular game.
Aveline Gregoire, a headmaster for a Belgian primary school, developed an online game where they search for books instead of imaginary monsters. It’s not as tech-savvy as Pokemon Go as you don’t need a GPS and camera to find books. The game is played through a Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) group called ‘Chasseurs de livres’ which means ‘Book Hunters’. The group was made only a few weeks ago but today, there are already more than 50,000 members enjoying this innovative game.
So how does it work?
The rules are simple. Players just take photos of the book then hide them. Then, they post the pictures and offer hints and tips to help the hunters find the books. Once the ‘hunters’ are done reading, the books must be ‘released’ back into the wild. You create a new post with a picture of the book and some clues. Then others can search for it again. The Facebook page is mainly used for communication purposes between the members of the group.
There is a huge list of books to choose from. This gives everyone an option of what book to hunt for depending on the genre of books the hunter prefers. Some hunters have deployed children’s storybooks and other have hidden novels made by famous authors. The books are wrapped in clear plastic to them from getting damaged. Then, they are placed in different corners and areas of Belgian towns.
During her interview with Reuters, Gregoire said “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.”
Reuters also talked to Jessica Detournay from the town of Baudour in southern Belgium. She said that her family uses the game as an excuse to go for morning walks in the countryside. After finding one book, they left four other books for the other players to find.
“My daughter said it’s like hunting for Easter eggs, only with books,” Jessica added. She also said that they received a Facebook notification saying that two of their books have already been found.
Gregoire is already thinking about creating an app for Chasseurs de livres as the game has gained a huge following in Belgium. This could be the best time to do it since the Pokemon Go craze is reportedly dying down. Bloomberg recently reported that Niantic’s famous game is already facing a steady decline. Studies showed that active users have gone down to 30 million from a high of 45 million just a few weeks after Pokemon Go was launched. The number of downloads and amount of time players use it have also declined.