South Koreans don't let geographic restrictions stop them from playing Pokemon Go — they just travel to the DMZ

south koreans play pokemon go along dmz
Creative Commons
Pokémon Go has apparently taken the world by storm, and certainly filled the headlines as of late. South Korea, however, does not yet have the game enabled. That has not stopped local enterprising fans of the game from finding a way hunt down pocket monsters. They just have to travel to the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea to do so.

Since the game’s release, busloads of South Koreans have been making the trek to catch Pokémon at the only place they can — in the area along the DMZ, according to The Wall Street JournalPokémon Go is not technically available in South Korea, and until it is, Niantic has set up geographical restrictions for the game. These include diamond-shaped spatial indexing grids that cover most of the country except for a small area to the north of South Korea along the DMZ.

south koreans play pokemon go along dmz korea
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport

In South Korea, video games are on par with sports, and some pro gamers experience fame not unlike athletic superstars in the U.S. With that in mind, it is not surprising that competitive players in the country found the glitch and traveled to exploit it and get ahead of the curve.

Local residents responded to the influx of players by setting up additional Wi-Fi hot spots and advertising their town’s amenities to attract as much of the Pokémon tourism craze as possible. One town set up a Twitter site with a video touting the town’s great Wi-Fi and local food, such as a sausage made of squid-filled pigs intestines.

A local tourist information booth is even giving away gift bags to hunters that are able to take a picture of a captured Pokémon at the DMZ with North Korea in the background. Many locals do not understand the workings of the game, but that has not stopped them from taking full advantage of the economics surrounding an influx of potential consumers.

Technically, North Korea falls outside of the restricted Pokémon Go areas, so it would be available to play in North Korea, according to The Wall Street Journal. But players would still need a device capable of running the game and Internet access, which is unlikely.

Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Gaming

Feeling bored in real life? Pursue a new persona in the best open-world games

Open-world games are among the most popular in the medium. These are the best open-world games of all-time, including titles in series like Assassin's Creed, The Elder Scrolls, and The Legend of Zelda.
Gaming

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.
Gaming

Wage war on a budget with these fun and free first-person shooters

We all know about Halo and Call of Duty by now, but what about quality titles that won't cost you upward of $60? Check out our picks for the best free first-person shooter games from Paladins to Quake Champions.
Gaming

Get creative and collect 15 coins with our Fortnite overtime challenges guide

The first Fortnite overtime challenges are now available. Use our guide to help you collect the hidden coins in the featured Creative mode islands and get closer to that free season eight battle pass.
Gaming

I'm canceling my backlog for Apex Legends. Be back never

Live service games like Fortnite and Apex Legends are eating up everyone's time, leaving other games out in the cold. While my backlog continues to grow, it seems the gaming industry is struggling to keep up as well.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Gaming

Become a champion with our beginner's guide to Apex Legends

Jumping into Apex Legends for the first time? Need help becoming a champion? Our Apex Legends beginner's guide has 15 tips and tricks that will hopefully help your team make it into the champion's circle.
Gaming

Buy a new Switch console and get a $35 eShop gift card at some retailers

Multiple retailers are currently offering the Neon Blue and Red Nintendo Switch console with a free $35 eShop gift card. The system still costs the standard $300 and includes Joy-Con controllers and the dock.
Gaming

Thrive in the nuclear apocalypse with our Metro Exodus survival guide

Metro Exodus is a difficult shooter, especially if you're new to the series' blend of stealth, action, and scavenging. Here is what you need to know to survive the nuclear apocalypse.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Gaming

How do the revised Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles stack up?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?
Gaming

Here's our Champion's guide to picking the best character in Apex Legends

Apex Legends' use of heroes with different abilities helps separate it from other battle royale games. To help you choose your legend, we've put together a legend guide detailing their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.