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Pokémon Go, Weird & Crazy, Life, News

What it’s like to be a Pokémon GO player in Vancouver

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DH Vancouver Staff Jul 19, 2016 8:20 am

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple weeks you will have no doubt heard about Pokémon GO, the augmented reality game that’s taken the world, and indeed Vancouver, by storm.

With thousands of gamers hitting the streets in an attempt to “catch em’ all” Pokémon GO has understandably courted its fair share of controversy. In Vancouver alone, we’ve had everything from police warnings to public shaming, but one story that hasn’t been told is that of the gamers themselves.

So from bumping into old friends to overcoming social anxieties, Vancouver’s gamers  told us why they love playing Pokémon GO and how the game has changed their lives in a very real way.

Cheery Huang, 20 – Burnaby


How long have you been playing Pokémon GO?

The day after its initial release in Australia and New Zealand.


What do you like most about the game?

You’d laugh, but the social interaction.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen whilst playing the game?

When a Dragonite (rare Pokémon) spawned at the Metrotown Fountain and everyone started freaking out. One guy was ecstatic about the CP (Combat Power) of his and yelled out as if he had just won the lottery. The entire group around the fountain shared a laugh.

Have you had any real life interactions as a result of Pokémon GO?

You know how you have Facebook friends that you don’t really interact with anymore? I’ve
been bumping into them.

Whether it be elementary/high school classmates, past co-workers, friends you haven’t met up with in ages, it’s funny that you casually bump into them at the popular lure locations. Rather than formally asking them out for coffee, you just bump into them. I think the coolest thing is that I’ve actually talked with a dad who said that this game has become some sort of family activity after work since he brings his kids (age 6 and 9) around the park to catch Pokémon. I think it’s phenomenal that Pokémon is able to grow up with its demographic.

Image: Pokemon Go/Shutterstock

Image: Pokemon Go/Shutterstock

Jeff Lam, 25 – Burnaby

How long have you been playing Pokémon GO?

Since day one.

What do you like most about the game?

It gets everyone out the door and into the world!

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen whilst playing the game?

When Pokémon GO first launched, during the first week, people were gathering around Stanley Park from day to night – it would look like a giant car meet inside its winding roads, and the few people that didn’t know about the game were left wondering what everyone was doing.

Have you had any real life interactions as a result of Pokémon GO?

On the second day of release, I took a gym at Patterson SkyTrain Station on my way to work. While I was waiting on the platform, this guy (who was dressing quite similarly to Ash Ketchum) starts to glance over at me. I looked back, and all of the sudden he just blurted out, “You know, I’m just going to take the gym back from you!”

Image: A group of gamers gather to play Pokémon Go at Metrotown.

Image: A group of gamers gather to play Pokémon Go at Metrotown.

Jeff Mak, 25 – Richmond

How long have you been playing Pokémon GO?

I have been playing since the release day!

What do you like most about the game?

The most fun about this game has to be going out with friends till late at night, hanging out and chatting and doing something that the whole crew enjoys. There is also a huge competitive atmosphere between our group of friends, making it super fun!

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen whilst playing the game?

There were tons of great and amazing encounters. We were at a location where someone brought out a huge speaker just to play music and a powerbar to charge 10 phones! There were tons of locations where there are more than 50 people just standing around and chatting and screaming Pokémon!

Since then my close group of friends come prepared to these Pokémon gatherings bringing water, snacks, table and chairs!

Have you had any real life interactions as a result of Pokémon GO?

Yup! I was able to meet tons of new friends who share this game as a common interest and some even play other mobile games that I play. Since then Pokémon GO – Vancouver group turned into a huge community to talk and discuss our findings and encounters!

Krabby Evan Lepage

Stanley, 33 – Burnaby


How long have you been playing Pokémon GO? 



Since day one.


What do you like most about the game? 



Looking for Pokémon using the tracker and using the game as an excuse to actually walk around.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen whilst playing the game?

The massive groups of people that run towards a spawn of anything other than Rattata, Zubat, and Pidgey. Another oddity is that the game is a social gathering of people (meeting up at tri-spots, etc.) to be anti-social – to play by themselves on their own devices with their heads down and not really talking with one another.

Have you had any real life interactions as a result of Pokémon GO?

I’ve met people that I would never have had the chance to meet. It’s also given me opportunities to catch up with some old friends that I haven’t seen for a long time.

Wachiwit / Shutterstock.com

Wachiwit / Shutterstock.com

Szeki, 23 – Vancouver

How long have you been playing Pokémon GO?

According to my Pokémon journal, I have been playing Pokémon GO since July 7, 2016.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen whilst playing the game?

I was with a couple of friends in a quiet neighbourhood when we were looking for Pigeot, and some curious adults asked us what we were doing (fair enough, we were in their front sidewalk afterall!). We explained the game to them, and they waved and cheered us on to catch them all—it made me so happy because it was like meeting a friendly NPC… but in real life!

Have you had any real life interactions as a result of Pokémon GO?

I would have struggled to say this before, but I currently have no issue with starting a conversation to random strangers at a park / fountain / any lure spots. I always had this fear of talking to strangers, but now I just walk over and ask about their Pokémon and we all have a great time!


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DH Vancouver Staff
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