Pokemon Go Again...


Lee Barber || July 25th

I spent this weekend at the first Bluedot Festival, where I had a thoroughly enjoyable time catching some incredible acts like Let's Eat Grandma, Underworld, British Sea Power, The Clangers. Yes, The Clangers. That's how bizarre Bluedot Festival was. After a long weekend, I returned home only to collect my two dogs and head straight to Longton park to go Pokemon hunting with my partner, and then headed to Tesco in Longton, which seems to be a pool full of Magikarp (for those, like myself, still desperately hunting for Gyarados).

Bluedot Festival was an incredible experience, but on the Saturday, there was something else in the back of my mind. An event which, only a number of weeks before, would have been one of those things I would have laughed at should you have told me about. Growing up in the nineties, I was obviously a Pokemon kid, but the strangest thing is, I'm much more of a Pokemon kid now than I ever was before.

Since the launch of Pokemon GO, I have become utterly addicted. I'm not even ashamed to say it. Pokemon GO has brought hundreds, if not thousands of people together in Stoke-on-Trent (or Stokemon if you prefer), it has got people out walking the streets of the city in a friendly environment, actually finding themselves at cultural sites in the area through hunting for rare Pokemon. New friendships are building formed of the back of a gaming app, and on Saturday in Hanley hundreds of people came together to celebrate this, and to hunt for Pokemon together.

Pokemon GO Stoke-on-Trent is a group on Facebook containing almost 3,000 members, formed by Pokemon hunter Kieran Wynne. After arranging the meet in Hanley last Saturday, he decided a second one was almost certainly a must. When I spoke to Kieran, I was interested in finding out where the idea for the meet came from, and how he felt the day went..

'I thought to myself, wouldn't it be amazing if we could get all the Pokemon GO players together in one place. When I first started the group I was only expecting 30 odd people. It's great to see everyone from all age groups, race, gender and sexuality get along with one common interest also there are people I know who have bad anxiety this has helped the to get out and meet new people.'

The second Pokemon meet will be taking place on Saturday 27th August in Hanley. Meeting locations have not yet been announced, but you can keep updated with the event on Facebook.

Kieran would like to give a big thank you to all of the team leaders of Saturday's Pokemon Meet in Hanley, and has a clear message for those attending the second meet, saying we can expect, quite simply 'more people, more activities, and more fun.' Hanley city centre is full of Pokestops and gyms, and is a clear hotbed for hunters, with Kieran himself suggesting the area around the Regent Theatre looking very good for hunting, with several stops dotting all the way down Piccadilly.

One Pokemon Kieran is really hoping to catch soon is Mr.Mime, but like many Pokemon fanatics, he is still searching for that illustrious prize Gyarados, though morning reports have been coming in suggesting one has been hanging around in Newcastle town, where there is also going to be a small Pokemon Dog Walk held by Hounds dog shop owner Anya Szczur. Anya is bringing her own passion for dogs together with her enjoyment of playing Pokemon after realising how much fun it is taking your beloved pets out hunting with you, and she hopes 'to bring dog owners with common interests together for an evening of fun.'

'Pokemon GO On A Dog Walk' will take place in Newcastle town on Saturday 6th August, starting at 5:30pm. Pokemon hunters will be meeting at Hounds on Merrial Street before walking through the town with their dogs. Owners are reminded that the health and safety of their pets must remain the priority, no matter how rare a Pokemon they sniff out for you!