Edmonton

Pokemon Go fever takes over north Edmonton neighbourhood

The popular augmented-reality game was only officially made available in Canada this past weekend, but Edmonton players are already flooding Griesbach Park, an apparent hotbed of activity for PokeMasters just trying to catch them all.

Pokemon Go players have taken over an Edmonton park, but some residents want this fad to fizzle out

Pokemon players flood the Griesbach neighbourhood. (CBC)

​Pokemon Go fever has taken over a north Edmonton neighbourhood, leaving some residents wondering how long it's going to last.
 
The popular augmented-reality game was only officially made available in Canada this past weekend, but Edmonton players are already flooding Griesbach Park, an apparent hotbed of activity for PokeMasters just trying to catch them all.

On Monday night, hundreds of players were in that community, faces glowing from the light of their cellphones.

Dominic Taday has  been coming to the park for more a week now, As soon as he's done work for the day, this is where you'll find him, along with six of his friends. 

"There's people from all over the city that come down here. All the way from Spruce Grove, Mill Woods, St. Albert as well," Taday said. 
        
"When you see groups of people and they're doing perhaps one common thing it actually is quite energetic to see and enthusiastic as well, " said Arturo Santos, who was in Griesbach because his wife wanted to collect Pokemon before their daughter's soccer practice ended nearby.

But not everyone is jumping on the Pokemon bandwagon.

Jourdan Dallaire says it's next to impossible to find a parking spot on his street some days after work.

And then there's the litter.

"When you move into a neighbourhood like this you don't expect it to be like Folkfest, or Whyte Ave. So it's just a balancing act with people wanting to play the new game and having respect for people living in the neighbourhood," Dallaire said.

The litter is mostly cigarette butts from players walking and tossing their butts. Dallaire said the smelly remnants are a concern for dog owners like himself, and a respect issue for the entire neighbourhood. 

"The only issue that I have is that that is a war memorial, it's not just a park. It's dedicated to our veterans and the men and women that sacrificed their lives so that you could play Pokemon Go," Dallaire added.

"So with that in mind, I just hope people consider that when they are smoking,or eating chocolate bars."

Fad or phenom?

But it doesn't seem the Pokemon mania is going away any time soon.

Christopher Ehli, who works at Warp 1 Comics and Games, says the revival of the Pokemon phenomenon is fascinating.

Everyone wants to be a part of the big scene and this is now the biggest scene, and is only getting bigger.- Christopher Ehli, Warp 1 Comics and Games

While he understands some of the residents' frustrations, he says it comes down to players just looking for a community.

"Once there is a place that is just a little bit more popular than the others, everyone knows that it is the best and then it becomes massively more popular because it has that little bit of an edge," Ehli said.

"Everyone wants to be a part of the big scene and this is now the biggest scene, and is only getting bigger."

But Eddie Chan is just wondering when this is all going to end.

He's lived across from Griesbach Park for five years, and says it's often just him alone walking around the lake.

That all changed last Sunday.

"Suddenly it's all crowded around here," Chan said.

"I hope it won't be a long time. If in the long run it looks like this, I won't like it," Chan said.

"It's a bit noisy right now."

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