At this weekend’s Pokémon Go Fest, a three-day IRL event from July 22–24, tens of thousands of Pokémon trainers will congregate downtown and at the Seattle Center. This year’s Go Fest, the second of three cities on a three-city tour; the first was hosted in Berlin earlier this month, and the third will take place in Sapporo, Japan, in early August, marks the return of live Pokémon Go events since the launch of Covid.
The Seattle Center and the destination are such an interesting venue, says Michael Steranka, director of Pokémon Go Live Game, “that it’s our first time bringing this event to Seattle. “Selecting this city has become a no-brainer thanks to our efforts with the local government and the tourism bureau,” the travel bureau said.
Here are the fundamentals for those who are unfamiliar with the craft of throwing virtual poké balls at untamed Hoppips and Zubats: In the augmented reality mobile game Pokémon Go, players (also known as trainers) move around to catch approximately 700 different Pokémon, engage in combat at gyms or in raids, and stop at PokéStops to resupply. Using the GPS on your phone, the game links everything to a specific location in the real world.
We really want to encourage discovery, physical activity, and face-to-face social contacts, says Steranka. “Pokémon Go’s objective is founded in reality, and a big portion of that experience is integrated with the world around you.”
Steranka continues, “There’s something for newcomers and gym-hardened trainees both” in reference to the Go Fest in Seattle. The event, which is divided into morning and afternoon periods each day, will include 80 Pokémon that have never before been released in addition to extra benefits including more raid passes for group battles, more trades with other players, and two special research adventures (a guided checklist of goals for players, if you will).
According to Steranka, a fairly typical reaction is having your head spin like a PokéStop photo disc. “We’ve done a lot to grow the game over the past six years, and we recently passed the six-year mark. We frequently hear comments like, “It’s an entirely different game,” from gamers who come back to play.
He continues that Go Fest offers novices the chance to become fully immersed in the Pokémon Go world with other players. “The best part is really that you’ll meet so many other players who are so welcoming and will be more than eager to show you the ropes and give you advice throughout the day,” says one participant.
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