Swansea Pokemon Go Lure Party: Not a Total Washout

Saturday 16th of July saw Wales’ first Pokemon Go lure party and Gear4Geeks was on hand to check it out. 

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Normally bad weather is enough to seriously affect a public event but in Swansea the weather is often on the dreary side and even the mild rain wasn’t enough to dampen the spirits of Pokemon Go players. Swansea is one of those towns which isn’t as busy as it used to be thanks to three out of town retail parks nearby but as I wander through the city it is busier than it has been in quite some time as children, parents and groups of 20 somethings all migrate towards the Castle Square for the first ever Lure Party.

Organiser Ryan Slee has managed to create a monster as 200-300 people are expected to attend this free public gathering to hunt down rare Pokemons, an event that has only had 5 days of build up but Ryan has posted repeatedly to remind players that safety needs to come first as Pokemon Go players have unfortunately been getting so engrossed in the game that they aren’t paying attention to their surroundings. As the gathering starts, two police offers stand at the top of the mini amphitheatre steps prompting Ryan to go and ask them if there’s anything he needs to do to ensure that from a police standpoint there’s no issues. It turns out there isn’t and the officers seem to have simply shown up as they too are excited about the Pokemon hunt.

Pokemon Go Lure Party Swansea
Braving the weather

There are Pokemon fans here of all ages congregating in small groups all transfixed by the phones but the event isn’t as lively as expected due to the game servers going offline about half an hour before start time which turns out to be due to a DDOS attack by hacking group PoodleCorp. Despite the disappointment, there’s still a positive atmosphere and after an hour people are still in good spirits as the crowd starts to break up with people heading home. We managed to chat with quite a few players to see how they’d fared.

Pokemon Go Lure Party Swansea
Emily, Steffani and Charlie

Name: Emily
Age: 25
Favourite Pokemon: Espurr
How many Pokemon did you catch at the party? 3

Name: Steffani
Age: 28
Favourite Pokemon: Corsola
How many Pokemon did you catch at the party? 2

Name: Charlie
Age: 25
Favourite Pokemon: Jigglypuff
How many Pokemon did you catch at the party? 1

Pokemon Go Lure Party Swansea
Tammy, Becky, Abi and Scott

Name: Tammy
Age: 22
Favourite Pokemon: Sylveon
How many Pokemon did you catch at the party? 2

Name: Becky
Age: 24
Favourite Pokemon: Growlithe
How many Pokemon did you catch at the party? 0 (but has so far caught 153)

Name: Abi
Age: 22
Favourite Pokemon: Teddiursa
How many Pokemon did you catch at the party? 1

Name: Scott
Age: 18
Favourite Pokemon: Articuno
How many Pokemon did you catch at the party? 3

Pokemon Go Lure Party Swansea
Alex and Kai

Name: Alex
Age: 23
Favourite Pokemon: Chandelure
How many Pokemon did you catch at the party? 1

Name: Kai
Age: 23
Favourite Pokemon: Wailord
How many Pokemon did you catch at the party? None but 6 on the bus here.

Pokemon Go Lure Party Swansea
Rhiannon and Daniel

Name: Rhiannon
Age: 23
Favourite Pokemon: Pikachu
How many Pokemon did you catch at the party? I don’t play the game so none. Can you get my awesome leggings in the photo?

Name: Daniel
Age: 25
Favourite Pokemon: Haunter
How many Pokemon did you catch at the party? None but 10 before getting here.

I talk further with Ryan who has posted regular updates to Facebook to keep attendees up to date, “It’s disappointing and I don’t want anyone travelling a long way to find that the server is down. Some people were travelling 30 miles to come today” All is not lost though as next weekend is the Heroes and Legends convention in Margam Castle and Ryan has been asked to host another Lure Party on the Sunday.

Pokemon Go Lure Party Swansea
Event organiser Ryan Slee

While some people have been negative of Pokemon Go’s popularity Ryan points out the positives of how it’s getting people outdoors and meeting new people as Pokemon hunting is proving to help people who have difficulties socialising. As Ryan says, the game is gender neutral and appeals to all people regardless of background. One of the most poignant things I notice is that all the attendees are friendly and none at all are standoffish, some may be a bit shy but everyone is very happy to talk about Pokemon and the gathering is less like strangers meeting up but almost like one massive family.

Fingers crossed for Sunday!

You can see Gear4Geeks’ range of Pokemon products here.

Morg

Gear4Geeks' owner and interviewer.

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Gear4Geeks' owner and interviewer.

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