Field Report: Thousands gather to play Pokemon Go, at night, in the cold in Australia
Pokémon Go has truly blown away the expectations of everyone. The Pokémon walks we saw on the weekend, the meetups, and the fun everyone is having has just been – insane.
Last night however (and the night before) something truly crazy has been happening in our hometown of Perth, Western Australia.
Literally thousands of Pokémon trainers have been gathering at Kings Park, a huge inner city park and botanical garden to play Pokémon Go. The spot is popular in the day for everyone, it’s a beautiful place and overlooks our city and people go there daily for walks, exercise, the WW1 War Memorial and to eat. However in the last few days it’s been overtaken by people playing Pokémon Go – at all hours of the day.
We headed down there last night at 10pm after photos of the gathering showed up Facebook. We had to see this and it didn’t matter that it was 4 degrees! I stupidly forgot to even put on shoes, I didn’t expect to even get out of the car but after seeing the fun everyone was having, I had to. People were playing in the dark, in the lights, the bins overflowed with food (which is a big disappointment) and people drove up and down Kings Park Drive blasting the Pokemon theme song from their cars.
This isn’t a single group of people playing Pokemon in isolation, this a couple of kilometres of people playing the game walking up through many many ‘Lured’ Pokémon Stops and rare Pokémon. It seems, Kings Park is a bit of a hotspot for the less than common Pokémon out there. Multiple Squirtle, Charmander, Hitmonlee, Dragonair and more are common at Kings Park and people are picking it clean.
There was some park security in attendance, but there was no intervention from police – everyone was friendly who we spoke to and many people were joining in other people’s excitement of catching some rarer Pokemon. We left close to midnight, but people have told me the crowds stayed well into the morning.
I’ve been playing Pokémon the entire 20 years it’s been a thing and I’ve never seen anything like this. How long can it last?
Have you see any gatherings in your city? Let us know in the comments or Facebook and see how yours compare.
Pictures: Daniel Vuckovic and Steven Impson