Chen San-yuan learned about the game from his grandson and has been playing since 2016. With his impressive set-up, the septuagenarian has become a local celebrity.
He said: “I used one cell phone back then and kept playing and playing. After a month, it became three cellphones, six cellphones, nine cellphones, 12 and 15, like that.”
Chen can play non-stop overnight, thanks to his custom-made portable battery packs. He says that he spends an average of $300 USD a month to buy virtual currencies in the game.
Like most pensioners in Taiwan, Chen has plenty of leisure time, so he spends his days riding his bike and searching for Pokémon. Although he says that his main motivation now is actually to find real-life “Pokémon Go pals”.
Pokémon Go, jointly developed by Nintendo Co and Niantic Inc in July 2016, has been the biggest hit so far among games using so-called augmented reality, where digital characters are superimposed on the real world.