KUALA LUMPUR, Aug — After months patiently waiting for augmented reality craze Pokemon Go to reach Malaysia’s shores, video game fans have dashed out of their doors to hunt for the titular Pocket Monsters since its official launch yesterday.
This morning, dozens of players — known in-game as “trainers” — congregated at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) park to join in a two-hour walk with video game and entertainment portal IGN Southeast Asia.
“Even before the game’s official release in the region, IGN Southeast Asia already had plans set up to run such events once the game is available. Only thing that held us back was the official launch date.
“We always want to create more events that revolve around our readers and being Pokemon fans ourselves; this is pretty much killing two birds with one stone,” its editor-in-chief Kenn Leandre told Malay Mail Online.
Leandre said the fans who turned out were equally split between males and females, mostly those based in Kuala Lumpur between early 20s to late 30s in age, and of diverse ethnic backgrounds.
The Pokemon Go phenomenon is based on a 1990s game but updated with the latest technology that uses augmented reality to superimpose virtual creatures onto real world locations, and allows players to view and capture them through their smartphones.
Which team dominated the gathering? Team Mystic, Leandre revealed, referring to the blue-themed popular faction players can choose, aside from yellow Team Instinct and red Team Valor.
“There are tons of PokeStops around the KLCC park and we charted a course to walk to each of these selected Stops,” he said, referring to game check points where players can resupply.
The organisers also bought and dropped Pokemon Lures to attract wild Pokemons at such stops to encourage Pokemon engagement, specifically a type that can benefit every player in the vicinity.
“We found quite a number of unique Pokemons in the area — most notably Scyther — which I think I was the only person who caught it in today’s group,” said Leandre, referring to a mantis-like Bug-type monster.
“We were told by other trainers that we bumped into that they saw a Dratini, as well as Ponyta around the area. Some of the participants caught Kabuto, Tangela and a Machamp.”
Do not worry if you missed the event. IGN Southeast Asia said it has plans for more walks in the future, even nationwide — especially along famous tourist attractions such as Malacca and Langkawi, and even Sabah and Sarawak.
“Just go out there and have fun. Don’t be stingy. Share information with others. From what we learned from today, Pokemon trainers are more than happy to share tips and location detail with others.
“It’s a community thing and we made tons of new friends today,” said Leandre to budding trainers.