As with most of the world, Pokémon Go has taken Canada with full force. I myself downloaded it the day it became available, catching many a Weedle and Rattata here in Chambly.
I’ve been hearing all kinds of hilarious stories about places in the world where people have become obsessed with it – my favourite being South Korea’s Sokcho which, being the only city where the game is available to play, has suddenly become sold out of all bus and plane tickets as everyone flocks North. (Ironically, North Korea has it freely available everywhere.)
That said, and being hermited in suburbia all the while with my new job, I haven’t personally experienced any of the craze. The most I’ve shared with another players was a gleeful moment of noticing a guy on a backwoods street catching the Weedle I’d just snagged.
But just last night, Andrea and I went downtown to Cabot Square – a Pokémon Go arena with several lure Pokéstops.
It was madness.
Andrea had told me that there were crowds of people last time she’d gone, but I hadn’t been prepared for the awesomeness that was seeing everyone else catching Pokémon in unison.
Everyone you passed – everyone of the hundreds of people there – had their phone out, faces illuminated by the blue app on their screens.
I wish I’d had my proper camera to take pictures, but alas: my phone had to do the job (so apologies for the awful nightvision quality).
But I don’t think I would have had time for an in-depth photo shoot anyway because I had Pokémon to catch!
By the end of the night, I ended up capturing 82 Pokémon and leveling up from 3 to 8. I’m now officially Team Red: Valor!!
One of the downsides about playing all night though is that your battery drains superfast. Somewhat ingeniously, however, someone figured out there was a plug in a lamp post in the middle of the square and set up a charging station. Clusters of players hovered like moths with their phones plugged in, continuing their games.
My favourite was at the intersection though where you see maybe 200 people crowded on the street corner, dozens with grass mats and fold out chairs, snacks and drinks at the ready to maximize Go time.
The police came by occasionally to tell people not to sit on the curb. Also to make sure people weren’t just running across the street without looking as they were wont to do. The other night Andrea was around, there was a stampede because a Charmander popped up. The most exciting one we came across yesterday was a Growlith.
Whatever your opinion on Pokémon Go, it’s truly exciting to be part of this revolutionary game technology. Never before have I seen so many people playing a solo game together in the same spot. There’s such a great sense of camaraderie.
I’ve missed out on a lot of fads in my time (namely pop culture stuff like Spice Girls), but if I was to pick one to be a part of, then I’m glad it’s this one.
Have you guys noticed any Pokémon Go stuff going on in your areas? I’d love to hear some stories about other places in the world!