Image copyright and courtesy of Big Heritage (@Big_Heritage) 2017
The craze that hit everyone last year, from school kids, twenty-something-year-olds, and even my mum for a spell!
What started as a pseudo-RPG from Japan in 1996 has turned into, arguably, the biggest thing to happen to gaming since, well, games.
You could ask 100 people and the vast majority of them would have either played Pokémon at some point in their lives or, at the very least, know who Pikachu is.
When the craze hit Britain, I was a mere schoolboy, but I can still remember having my 1st Nintendo Gameboy bought for me (again, I was a schoolboy) and playing Pokémon Red at my nan and grandad’s house for hours on end.
To say I was obsessed, even then, was an understatement.
I have owned at least one game from each new generation that was brought out, had, at one time, a decent card collection, knew the type advantages to every one of the original 150 Pokémon, and could sing along to the Pokémon Rap…for all of 12 seconds before getting tongue-tied.
Even my drawing, which I had been doing since I was 2 years of age, was affected by the Japanese critters.
I would design my own Pokémon, draw my favourites (at the time, Raichu), and even created my own version of Pokémon for use in my own little universe of characters.
I even cried at Pokémon the Movie, but then again, who didn’t?
So, when a Pokémon game was announced and then released onto mobile devices everywhere last year, you could imagine how interested I was.
Finally, we could walk around the real world catching Bulbasaurs, Pikachus, Ghastlys, and more.
Aside from all the celebrity deaths and the state of the politics, 2016 was a wonderful time to be alive.
The game, upon the first release, had more active daily users than Facebook or Twitter, and whilst that figure would slowly dwindle as people’s interests weren’t held, the fact of the matter was, most of the world had once again become obsessed with Pokémon, all thanks to Pokémon Go.
This year has seen the release of 2nd Generation Pokémon, which brought new interest and new Pokémon to the game for everyone who had stuck around through those lulls in the Autumn and Winter months.
The added implementation of “Raids” and an overhauled Gym system set the groundwork for what was coming.
On Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd July 2017, Pokémon Go Fest had arrived.
And the nearest participating location to ourselves at What the Nerd Heard was the historic city of Chester, my place of birth, and the original capital city of England following the Roman’s conquest all those centuries ago.
Image copyright and courtesy of Steve Casey Photography 2017
Whilst I was not present at the event, or even in the city over the weekend, I have seen scenes of the mass of humanity that occupied the streets of Chester over the two days.
Normally a fairly busy city despite its size, Chester played host to what must have easily been a few thousand people, all of whom were searching for some of the best, and most importantly rarest Pokémon available.
Whilst the event was plagued with connectivity issues due to the sheer amount of people present, the fact that Legendary Pokémon Lugia and Articuno were spotted (and in a lot of cases caught) is all that matters.
From talking to Twitter users such as Steve Casey (@SteveCaseyPhoto) and Big Heritage (@Big_Heritage), the event was a massive success, and whilst it may be too early to know just how many people came to the city for the event, they all seemed to enjoy themselves despite the issues.
If you took part in the proceedings over the weekend, I hope you had a wonderful time, wherever you are in the world.
Here’s hoping the next Pokémon Go Fest won’t be A) met with so much connectivity issues and (most importantly) B) comes around soon.
And who knows, you may even see this Nerd-in-the-Know at the next event.
If you took part in Pokémon Go Fest anywhere in the world, why not share your experience with us here at What the Nerd Heard? We’d love to see what you caught, where you caught them, and most importantly if you had a good time.
A very special Nerdy thank you goes to Steve Casey of Steve Casey Photography and the team at Big Heritage for use of their photographs in this post.