Taking the Pokemon Go fever a notch higher, the city hosted its own Pokemon walk with ‘trainers’ hunting down the rarest of the digital creatures to add to their kitty of ‘monsters’ Organised by Performers’ Consortium, a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to put together heterogeneous art forms of unconventional structure, the “PokeHunt: India Gate” commenced at 5 pm and continued till 7.45 pm last evening.
“The hunt began at around the canopy in the India Gate area which had pokestops around and people could collect as many pokeballs as they wanted, after which we took the alley between the High Court and the National Gallery of Modern Art, to Pandara road via Zakir Hussain marg, finally culminating at the Pokegym at the Khan Market,” Manu Kamath, co-founder, Performers’ Consortium said.
The augmented reality game, which was first released in the USA, Australia and New Zealand, is now available in more than 30 countries has turned into a global phenomenon.
Although, the game is yet to be launched officially in India, it has already taken the country by storm and gamers are playing it by downloading the APK (Android application package) file.
In all, there are 151 unique pokemons that can be caught globally, although there are some that are exclusive to particular regions like, ‘Farfetch’d’ in Asia, ‘Kangaskhan’ in Australia and New Zeland and ‘Mr Mime’ in Europe.
Also, there are nine elusive of these digital monsters – Ditto, Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Mewtwo and Mew – regarding the existence of which within the game there is no available information as of now.
The “Poke Hunt” which was created on Facebook as a purely whimsical act, garnered immense popularity. The hunt began at the starting point with nearly 40 people and many other joined in at different locations.
Their post on the social networking site read, “This is a meet-up for all excited and nostalgic Pokemon 80s, 90s, 00s kids/teens/adulting adults. India Gate has many Pokemons, PokeStops and a PokeGym! This is a chance to unite and play the game together. We will have a few surprises and lures awaiting the PokeHunters!”
“We had created the event on Facebook just like that with absolutely no idea that it would become so popular,” Kamath said.
While organisers had previously decided to provide participants with maps detailing the location of pokemons, the vent turned out to be more “spontanoeous” where people would rush to a particular spot as soon a monster was located.
“We had planned to provide people with crowd sourced maps from those who have been playing the game at these locations to guide the trainers about what pokemons can be found where. We had planned a lot of things, but we ended up guiding them ourselves. It was more spontaneous and turned out better than what we had expected,” Kamath said.
While there were a couple of similar pokemon walks happening at other places across the city, Performers’ Consortium chose India Gate as the location because of the large number of ‘Pokestops’ in the area, besides being a ‘Pokemon rich region.’
According to them, rare pokemons like Kabuto, which is a fossil like pokemon can be found in and around the India Gate area.
“From the basic knowledge of the game, bug, grass and poison type Pokemons will be found in the lawns and parks and water pokemons can be found near the pools and other water bodies,” Kamath said.
Speaking about the safety concerns while looking for pokemons on the road, he said that the entire group walked together with him carrying a sign board indicating that they were playing the game.
While no pokemon trainer from the group managed to catch them all, the highest one of the players reached was Level 20 in the game.
Kamath’s team hopes to conduct a similar hunt next month. “By next month, hopefully the app would have launched in India officially and we can conduct another PokeHunt in August,” he said.
He also talked about turning the Pokemon hunt into a potential profit generating business venture. He however, refused to disclose any further details at present.
“The idea is to collaborate this with what we actually do. What we think can be done is have concerts for different art forms at the pokestops where trainers will stop by to collect pokeballs and then attend the respective events,” he said.