To say PokémonGO is taking over your social feed is an understatement. The phenomenon that is Pokémon GO doesn’t seem to be slowing down as it climbs to take over Twitter in daily active users on Android. The allure of Pokémon GO is something that aspiring Pokémon fans always wanted: to be able to “catch” Pokémon in the real world. It’s been inspiring then, especially given the divisive news we are confronted with daily, to see this game actually bring people together. It’s almost as if Team Rocket were getting its dream — sort of: “To unite all people within our nation.”
It should be no surprise then that Pokémon GO has inspired some pretty incredible real-life meetups between trainers. The central part of Pokémon GO is that you literally have to go play the game. It’s not a game you can play simply sitting on your couch or using a treadmill to track steps, the game tracks your actual movement using your phone’s GPS. So it’s no wonder that fellow trainers have used this fact to their advantage to schedule meet and greet events.
Kotaku reported on one such meet and greet event in Sydney, Australia. The event attracted over Pokémon trainers, well over the amount organizer Guy Blomberg was likely expecting. Instead of a simple meet and greet, the event turned out over 2,000 people, showing the incredible draw of the new Pokémon app. Kotaku also reported that similar even in Perth, which is on the other side of the continent in Western Australia, drew over a thousand people. The “Pokémon Go Walk” event in Perth was a huge success according to Channel 7 News.
— Guy 'Yug' Blomberg (@YugSTAR) July 10, 2016
Another event was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, last night, as over 2,000 Pokémon trainers descended on Sunset Park, a few miles from the famed Las Vegas Strip. The event, organized by a locally run Pokémon GO Facebook group, said the event drew over 1,600 RSVPs on the Facebook event page. Well over the RSVP number showed up, as detailed by the Las Vegas Review Journal. According to the report, over 2,000 people also showed up to the Sunset Park event (the Facebook listing at the time of publication states 2500 attended), which also seems to house one of the largest collection of nearby PokéStops outside of the Las Vegas Strip itself. Being a Las Vegas native, I caught the tail-end of the event and even at 11:30 at night there were still close to a 500 people catching Pokémon in one of Vegas’ largest parks.
— Destini Nash (@DestiniNash) July 11, 2016
What makes these events so great isn’t just the fact you are out of the house and moving around, an obvious bonus to using the Pokémon GO app. It’s the interactions with other trainers. At Sunset Park, there was a spot with three PokéStops right next to each other. In between them there had to be at least sixty or so trainers sitting on the grass swapping stories about Pokémon they have caught, ones they plan to catch and how the game has brought a childhood dream to life. Teachers met their students and hunted Pokémon together.
Pokémon GO has done wonders for Nintendo themselves as well, even though Nintendo didn’t directly develop the game. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Pokémon GO has sent Nintendo stocks soaring, adding $9 billion in market value to the Japanese game company in just a few days.
For those who are just getting into Pokémon GO, Paul Tassi at Forbes has a wonderful guide to getting started. Some of the more helpful hints talk about catching hard to acquire Pokémon as well as getting through the infuriating unbeatable Gym glitch plaguing some users at the moment.
Have you hosted or attended a Pokémon GO meet up in your city? Share your Pokémon GO experience in the comment below.
[Images via Pokémon GO]