So unless you've been living under a rock, Pokémon Go - the new[1] Augmented Reality Pokémon game came out this week.

After playing around with it for a bit, it seemed to be just single-player with two options:

  1. Visit "Pokéstops" to find items
  2. Catch Pokémon

(No, I wasn't level 5 yet.)

I asked on Twitter about multiplayer, and fortunately James tipped me off about a Facebook event for everyone[2] to get together and play Pokémon:

By this morning it had about 5,000 attended confirmed, and I figured I'd go along to watch the carnage of 5,000 Pokémon fans trying to walk around together.

Surprisingly, it was anything but. Although nearly every person I saw was playing Pokémon, people were spread out and going along at their own pace. It was a very friendly atmosphere, and watching the people ended up being more fun than playing Pokémon.

Some particularly memorable moments:

  • There was one person who was walking around the Royal Botanical Gardens with a bluetooth speaker, pumping out the Pokémon theme song (season 1). For about 100m behind him, everyone was humming along.

  • There was a group of friends playing together, trying to collect different types of Pokémon. When one person said rather loudly "I caught a Dratini earlier at the top of the steps", four people walking past suddenly changed direction, looking up from their phones to try figure out where the aforementioned steps are.

  • There was a woman with her two daughters, taking them around so that her kids could play. When the 6-year-old (approx.) exclaimed "Pikachu!," a group of mid-twenties men around her immediately asked "where?!"

![Pokémon Go near the Sydney Opera House](/content/images/2016/07/Lures_For_days.jpg)

People were mostly hanging around the areas where Lure Modules were set up, and there were enough Pokémon around to catch for hours on end[3].

This is the most social I've ever seen a group of nerds be, and the best part is, we're having fun while doing it.

  1. Ok, from what I hear it's just a Pokémon-branded reskin of Ingress (which I know nothing about), but if a new Call of Duty every year can be called a new game... ↩︎

  2. It wasn't intended to be everyone, but Internet-coordinated events seem to have a habit of growing out of control. ↩︎

  3. If you wanted to bypass the whole go-get-some-exercise part of Pokémon Go, I mean. ↩︎