A game that took the world’s young and old by storm, Pokémon Go has become a global phenomenon enjoyed by everyone with a smartphone.
A free-to-play. Location-based augmented game, Pokémon Go was developed as a result of a collaboration between Niantic and Nintendo for iOS and Android devices. The game makes use of a player’s mobile device and its GPS ability to locate and capture Pokémon, battle trainers and train these virtual creatures. Once AR (Augmented Reality) mode is enabled, these cute but tough creature pop up around the player, only visible to those looking into their screens.
Unlike previously hosted events like the Europe Safari Zone and Chicago’s Pokémon Go fest, Community Days work on a global level — rather than being area specific, the community day perks and events are hosted during a designated time, making it possible for players all over the world to come together, join forces and capture their most wanted Pokémon.
To mark the inauguration of Niantic’s first Pokémon Go Community Day, players around the globe congregated at local parks at the designated time and as a group went on to catch, battle and train their Pokémon.
In the Sultanate, about 30 Pokémon trainers gathered at the Qurum Natural Park to celebrate the first ever “Pokémon Go Community Day”, a world-wide Pokémon Go celebration that encourages people to get out and interact with their local community. People strolled through the park in the search of a special event Pikachu and spent the afternoon socializing with fellow trainers and engaging in raid battles. Mitchell Cornish, a part of the Pokémon Go Oman Administrative Team said, “- We encourage people to come out to our events. We do a weekly meetup on Friday afternoons and the occasional Saturdays for special events like Community Day.”
Extremely popular in Oman, the game has fans both old, young and in between spending time catching these fun little creatures and meeting fellow fans. Pokémon Go Oman is a community of local based trainers hailing from all over the world in an effort to enjoy the 90s magic of Pokémon in this 2016, AR version of their childhood.
Maitham Al Musawi, Pokémon Go Oman Admin spoke to us about the popularity of the game in Oman, He said, “Pokémon Go has done something very unique in the video game world. They combined two things: the strong nostalgia of the Pokémon series from the 90s and the magic of Augmented Reality (AR). We still see millions of people playing around the world, including here in the GCC. As for the Oman Pokémon Go community, we truly started playing as a community in July 2017 when Niantic introduced a feature which required players to join forces and take down raid bosses. From there, many friendships were formed between people of different nationalities and ages. As if now, 65 active members in the group meet on daily and weekly bases for different events in the game. All came together for their love and passion for Pokémon.”
Mitchell shared, “Our greatest achievement is earning Exclusive Raid Passes to take on Pokémon Go’s strongest Pokémon: Mewtwo. Many of our members have now caught this legendary beast, with many more still to catch it. We are all part of a WhatsApp group chat; this is how we coordinate our raids” he also added, “We do weekly meetups in Qurum Park to do gym/raid battles, catch Pokémon and just have a great social experience. We also do raid battles all over Muscat daily.”
On the day of the event, people wearing Pokémon clothing, hats or toys met at the Qurum Park dancing fountain (or Giant Vase on the Pokémon Go App) at 1.30pm. People got to know each other, form their teams and at the 2 o’clock mark the event hit is off, Trainers walked around the park, socialized and enjoyed exclusive rewards, such as Double XP, 3-hour Pokéstop Lures, and the coveted Pikachu with the move “Surf” (event rewards courtesy of Niantic, Pokémon Go’s Developer).
A fellow trainers and member of the Pokémon Go Oman Group, Amna Ashraf said, “Community day allowed a huge number of people to come together to a single place and play as a team which is usually difficult on weekdays with everyone’s busy schedules. For the first time I played with players of all ages, which for the first time made me feel like it’s a family-oriented game and not just for adults.”
Another attendee and trainer Sameer Kumar said, “Community day was a pretty brilliant work of Niantic [the game developer]. It helped gather a lot of Pokémon Go players as there were plenty of in-game rewards on this day. For regular players, we meet up on daily basis to meet up and raid and play together and help each other out for catching rare Pokémon and leveling up. What I like the most about playing with the community is that everyone is friendly and helpful which helps you socialize better.”
Niantic has taken it up a notch and like on this inaugural day, announced that each Pokémon Go Community Day will feature a special Pokémon that knows a move it cannot typically learn in the game. During January’s Community Day, players were able to capture a Pikachu that could use Surf. Next month’s event will feature Dratini, though Niantic hasn’t revealed what its exclusive move will be yet. You can read more about the upcoming Community Day on Pokemon Go’s website.
Calling out to all fans, aspiring trainers and others keen to get involved, connect with Pokemon Go Oman on their Twitter (@PokemonGoOman) or our Instagram (@pokemongooman) and keep an eye out for upcoming events, meet ups and raids.
In the words of a local Pokémon trainer, “We have created a wonderful community; meeting Pokémon enthusiasts in popular spots like Qurum Park and Muttrah, and also through our social media. To us, Pokémon Go is more than a game; it’s a lifestyle. We make time every day after work or school to catch ‘em all!”
TITASH CHRAKRABORTY –