Folks, I have seen some cruel April Fools' Day pranks in my time. Heck, I just read through the last 15 years of Funky Winkerbean strips from April 1 a few minutes ago, so I thought I was immune to the pangs of disappointment, but no. No I am not. And I know that, because with their annual prank, Google has shown us a finer world and reminded us how far we have fallen.

Okay, so maybe I'm overreacting a little bit, but still! An April 1 update to Google Maps that adds Pokémon to international landmarks and allows you to catch them, learning to understand each other through the magic of friendship and battling? It is a glimpse of a world in which I want to live. Check out their video promoting the (pretty amazing) gag below!



The update to Google Maps includes a full Pokédex entry for every caught Pokémon, but the real fun is finding them and seeing how they relate to their surroundings. There are more than a few located near the "Pokémon Lab" at Google Headquarters, but the team behind the prank has really gone all-out in figuring out where to put them. Squirtle, for instance, can be found in the canals of Venice, Pikachu is hanging around the Tokyo Tower, and there are quite a few Electric types soaking up the juice over at the CERN research lab in Switzerland:


Google Maps Pokémon Challenge


There's also a Meganium at the White House, and really, you have to ask yourself if you can trust a President who chooses that as his starter when there are clearly Bulbasaurs available right there on the map.

It's a cool gag and a fun way to kill time -- I spent a solid hour with a friend last night poking through Maps and trying to figure out where they all were -- but still, tantalizing us with the prospect of an official Pokémon Master job that doesn't exist? Too cruel, Google. Too, too cruel.

If this Garrus Vakarian body pillow turns out to be fake too, I don't know what I'm going to do.


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