Young Indians are visiting temples more frequently—but not due to religious reasons.
The hit game Pokémon Go is drawing youngsters in India to visit temples as many “pokéstops,” or locations where you can find Pokémon, are located inside these places of worship.
Pokémon Go is an augmented reality mobile game by Japan’s Nintendo. The game requires players to search real-world locations for hidden Pokémon and capture them.
“Playing Pokémon Go in India is almost a pilgrimage,” a Reddit user noted. Another user said he had been to six temples on his way back from work to catch Pokemon. Paying the game was helping another gain brownie points from his mother. “Me to Mom: Mandir hoke aa raha hu (I am going to the temple)—win-win situation.”
Pokémon Go is yet to be officially launched in India, but it has many users in the country already. Social media has been flooded with tricks that let Indians access the game.
The game has gone viral globally, and surpassed the daily active user numbers of Twitter, according to TechCrunch. Gamers are spending more time on Pokémon Go than on other popular apps like Facebook and Snapchat.
India still isn’t among the top 20 countries by active users of Pokémon Go, which includes several countries where the game is not yet launched.