Pokémon GO is an augmented reality game that in three weeks has overtaken the number of daily active Twitter and Snapchat users and filled streets, parks and public buildings with players desperate to track down those elusive Pokémon monsters to throw Pokémon balls at to capture. The Pokémon GO game has one foot in the real world, as players navigate around real locations using a map and their smartphone's location sensors. However, when in the vicinity of a Pokémon monster, the game activates the device camera and superimposes the monster over the real world. The player must then flick balls at the Pokémon in order to capture it and place the monster into the Pokédex, or storage facility. Pokémon GO also has other real world locations, including PokéStops and Pokémon Gyms, where players are able to top up their game and train their monsters, respectively.
This week has been the Republican convention based at the Quicken Loans Arena, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team. And whilst speeches and votes have generated considerable interest, behind the scenes - or to be more accurate, when viewed through the Pokémon GO game - battles were perhaps even more heated. It turns out that there is a Pokémon GO Gym also located in the stadium. Each Pokémon GO Gym has a gym master but at the stadium, there has been a high turnover: this is to be expected of such a busy venue after all! The Cleveland stadium has seen many a delegate and reporter vying for the gym master title, when perhaps they should have been paying attention to the conference.
Around the Huntington Convention Center there are also three PokéStops and these often have a lure, which will pull in Pokémon monsters from the surrounding area. Reporters and media personnel, many of whom did not wish to be named for fear of their boss finding out that they are hunting Pokémon rather than delegates, claim that they are more excited for the fictional monsters in the area than the conference itself. Reporters are seen hunting Pokémon in the long gaps between votes, briefings and speeches. Furthermore, some Pokémon have been given nicknames or similarities have been observed between politicians and monsters.