By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Approximately 130 people attended Fev Games‘ and Vancouver Island Pokémon Go Syndicate‘s “Third Saturday” event at Beacon Hill Park in the City of Victoria, British Columbia, on August 20th. This city was one of six selected to test the waters for a regular event for enthusiasts of this mobile game to engage in and players of various experience levels arrived to test their mettle. This product swept parts of the world by storm, and in who showed up, the hardcore was here trying to catch them all. Another hotspot had its casual players mulling about but for those who want to see their hometown shine, they were at this nesting zone for waterfowl and Pokémon alike.
Other cities included Chicago, Illinois; Melbourne, Australia; Ottawa, Ontario; Riverside, California and Townsville, Australia. The Press Enterprise reported online that “more than 1,200 players took to the streets near City Hall” in Riverside and numbers will no doubt vary, depending on the size of a city’s population.
Fev Games is the parent company who reports on augmented reality games and they keep track of the stats on other such worlds like Ingress. They also have Smart Education as a sponsor to help provide prizes like Google Play Store Credit and a 10k Anker Battery Charger for those who either covered the most distance, collected the most pocket monsters or gained a lot of experience points. This organization is also a charity to help promote science and the arts for communities. While this company has more of a tech bent, their purpose is one to help encourage the next generation of engineers.
Steven Curley, one of the event organizers said, “This event is entirely volunteer run and we’re just a group of people Fev Games pulled in to make this event happen.”
Because of the place selected, not a lot of banners or fancy setup is allowed. To him and his group, that’s just fine. The news was announced through Facebook and a few other social media outlets. As word spreads, the turnout will no doubt increase. The aim is to have a monthly event for all players to enjoy, socialize and get their nerd on. For the amount of people who showed up today, it equals the average attendance of a movie playing in this city. Either folks can bathe in the sweltering 28 degrees Celsius heat of this day or stay indoors.
“Next month Fev Games plan on opening this event up to any city that wants to have a team and manage it — to have their city stats recorded and take part,” revealed Curley.
The potential exists to have cities show off their Poké colours; instead of team Instinct, Valor or Mystic vying for top spot, the score will be in which townships has the most dedicated fans going out and about collecting Pokémon. This event is not officially run by Nintendo or Niantic.
“This event is the fans saying we want to have some fun and do something for each other,” Curley said.