Pokemon Go blamed for illegal border crossing from Canada to US

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Why The Heck Is Pokemon Go So Popular?

July 23 (Reuters) - Two youths unaware of their surroundings when they were playing Pokemon GO on their cell phones made an illegal border crossing this week from Canada into the United States in a remote part of Montana, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said.

The two, who were not identified, were found by U.S. Border Patrol agents on Thursday, with their attention affixed to their phones as they were trying to hunt down cartoon characters on a journey that took them over the border.

"Both juveniles were so captivated by their Pokemon GO games that they lost track of where they were," said Michael Rappold, a spokesman for the agency.

People playing Pokemon Go:

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People playing Pokemon Go
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People playing Pokemon Go
Nintendo Co.'s Pokemon Go is displayed on a smartphone in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday, July 12, 2016. Pokemon Go debuted last week on iPhones and Android devices in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand, letting players track down virtual characters in real locations using their smartphones. Nintendo is an investor in Niantic Inc., the games developer. Photographer: Akio Kon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PORTLAND, ME - JULY 11: Monument Square, Portland, was a hotspot of activity for the Pokemon Go 'augmented reality' game Monday evening. From left, Shellbe Flynn, Jordan Regios (mostly hidden) and Elizabeth Hook. (Photo by Michele McDonald/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JULY 11: Mary Baker, 18, plays the mobile game Pokemon Go as she walks through the Public Garden in Boston, Mass., July 11, 2016. (Photo by Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, ME - JULY 11: Kaelyn Kespert, 10, of Scarborough, plays Pokemon Go at Deering Oaks Park. (Photo by Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 11: Medical student Jag Chilana plays Pokemon Go on his smartphone at Union Square, July 11, 2016 in New York City. The success of Nintendo's new smartphone game, Pokemon Go, has sent shares of Nintendo soaring. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
David Melendez (C) uses three phones as he plays the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo in New York City, U.S. July 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
Theodore Belizaire plays the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo in Times Square, New York City, U.S. July 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
Jerimie Nason (C) plays the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo as people pass him on the street outside Grand Central Terminal in New York City, U.S. July 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
A virtual map of Bryant Park is displayed on the screen as a man plays the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo in New York City, U.S. July 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
Theodore Belizaire plays the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo in Times Square, New York City, U.S. July 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
The augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo is shown on a smartphone screen in this photo illustration taken in Palm Springs, California U.S. July 11, 2016. REUTERS/Sam Mircovich/Illustration
Leo Mesquita (R) and Jean Suplicy (2nd R) play the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo as they walk away from the Chrysler Building in New York City, U.S. July 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
Theodore Belizaire pumps his fist after catching a Pokemon in the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo in Times Square, New York City, U.S. July 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
Pokemon Go is displayed on a cell phone in Los Angeles on Friday, July 8, 2016. Just days after being made available in the U.S., the mobile game Pokemon Go has jumped to become the top-grossing app in the App Store. And players have reported wiping out in a variety of ways as they wander the real world, eyes glued to their smartphone screens, in search of digital monsters. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
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The two were reunited with their mothers at a nearby border patrol station, the agency said.

The game has been an unexpected success from Spain to Australia, doubling Nintendo's value since the game's launch in the United States earlier this month.

Using mobile devices, players search for virtual Pokemon characters that appear to pop up at office spaces, restaurants, museums and other places. Players score points in various ways, including capturing the Pokemon characters with a flick of a finger on their phone screen.

The game was also to blame for a rash of car accidents and a slew of mishaps stemming from distracted players.

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