Pokemon Go event in Regina attracts over 1,000
'It's bringing this community together': Sean Ryan, festival organizer
The Pokemon Go craze is bringing people together, organizers of a Sunday game festival – dubbed a Lure-a-Palooza – in Regina's Cathedral neighbourhood say.
"There's a good 1,000 to 1,200 people here," Sean Ryan, one of the organizers of the event, said, adding they were anticipating about 200. "It's awesome. It blew away our expectations."
Pokemon Go, played on a cell phone, involves exploring for items associated with game that appear on screens as players walk about in the real world.
Everybody has just come together.- Sean Ryan
The Sunday festival had people milling about for several hours as they tramped around the neighbourhood glued to their phones.
Ryan, 29, said people like him – who enjoy video games at home – also like to socialize and Sunday's Pokemon Go event combined a bit of both.
Ryan added the game has also been a fun way to exercise.
"I've lost a good 10 pounds just walking around playing this game with all my friends."
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Ryan noted the game is played around the world and it is nice to get in touch with players from the local community.
"It's really great that it's bringing this community together," he said. "Everybody has just come together. It's just awesome."
Ryan said the people behind the Regina group, which began on Facebook, wanted a way to communicate and keep in touch with other local players.
"We wanted to make sure that if there were events for Pokemon, we could get everybody together in the same place at the same time," he said and then noted the Sunday crowd. "Clearly ... we've done just that."
Ryan compared the interaction of Pokemon Go players to socializing of bygone eras, such as the 1950s when people would spend a lot of time driving around together in cars.
He said Pokemon Go is a social game and there is much more to it than staring at a screen.
"A lot of people right now are giving us a hard time, saying we're walking around like zombies," he said. "We're doing exactly what they used to do, back in the day. Getting out, meeting new people. All that kind of good stuff."