With an abundance of “Pokéstops,” Seattle’s parks have become hotbeds for the mobile game app.
If you were out and about in Seattle this past weekend, you likely came across the latest craze: “Pokémon Go.” The mobile game app has left players flocking from their homes to explore the city and make new friends in their quest to become Pokémon masters.
One hotbed has been Seattle’s Volunteer Park, where the beautiful scenery (real) combines with an abundance of Pokéstops and multiple training gyms (virtual). There’s apparently even a gym at Bruce Lee’s gravesite in neighboring Lake View Cemetery.
Maggie Clarke, 22, explored the park Monday while walking a friend’s dog. Clarke, a self-described gamer, liked the way the game breaks down barriers. She said that the game has helped some of her friends overcome their anxiety and has served as a way to prompt interaction.
“To have something that brings gamers together more than just a Comic-Con or a BlizzCon is phenomenal,” said Clarke. “It is bringing people together in a physical world that is part of their daily life and that is kind of really cool.”
Clarke also said she likes how the game has prompted more exploration of the city, including the park, which she had never fully explored.
Owen DeVore, 13, and Nathaniel Feinstein, 14, players Clarke met in the park, expressed a similar sentiment.
“I’ve lived in this neighborhood and I’ve discovered stuff that I’ve never seen before,” DeVore said.
DeVore and Feinstein also liked how the game has prompted a sense of community, with players helping each other out.
Beyond Volunteer Park, other parts of the area are pulling in trainers:
• Cal Anderson Park is a big draw, with multiple Pokéstops in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
• One person on Twitter, @KindraNikole, tweeted: “Gasworks Park is the place to be for trainers. So many lures here.”
• On Wednesday, the Seattle Immersive Theater is hosting “Pokemon Go! Safari,” described as an event where you can “socialize with other trainers, soak up delicious Pokémon-themed cocktails, and hunt elusive monsters.”
• On July 24, a big turnout is expected for a “Pokémon Go” meeting and team up in downtown Seattle around Pike Place Market. “Let’s just have fun and take over Seattle with the one thing we all wanted as children or younger state, to train pokemon,” the event’s Facebook page said.