This week, Eastbourne Buzz has been introduced to the world of Pokémon Go!
It seems underneath Eastbourne’s familiar exterior, there’s now a new world, capturing gamers’ hearts and minds. A simple walk along the seafront from Sovereign Harbour to the Bandstand, unearthed a host of new additions to the virtual reality world the smart phone app has to offer.
We learned about PokéStops. Apparently, this is where you can grab all kinds of “cool, free stuff” as we were told by one teenager playing the game. There’s even one at the Water Treatment Works! Said cool stuff can include PokéBalls, potions and other things that we didn’t really understand! We accompanied James – the Pokémon expert – along the seafront, finding more of these PokéStops at the heart sculpture by Sovereign Park, the skate park, Fort Fun and perhaps the biggest one, the pier.
Apparently someone had put down lures at the pier. These ‘make’ the Pokémons gather in one place. Looking around, there were no less than 30 teenagers all glued to their phones, throwing virtual balls at creatures that aren’t really there. Wandering down the pier, there were even more young people pacing around, punching the air with pride when they caught a Squirtle or Psyduck.
We also learned the pier and Fishermen’s Green are home to gyms. No, not kind filled with exercise machines, but one which is for Pokémon fighting and become ‘owned’ by one of three colour teams – Red, Blue or Yellow. Are you keeping up with all of this?!
Our young gaming friend ‘caught’ all manner of Pokémon whilst we were out, including several Psyducks and MagiKarps and there was much excitement when something that looked like a unicorn appeared. He also levelled up twice – apparently this is a good thing – and he hatched an egg, which you do by walking for a designated distance. For those like us, who don’t know these things, eggs can be found at PokéStops.
We’ve also heard that Hampden Park is a good place to catch Pokémon.
So, what does the team at Eastbourne Buzz make of the craze that’s sweeping the nation? It seems to have certainly inspired the younger generations to get out of the house, but talking to each other at the same time doesn’t seem to have caught on just yet. We also spotted a potential downfall in walking around glued to your phone, as we saw one young girl so engrossed in catching a Pokémon, that she walked head on into a pole. She wasn’t hurt. In fact, it hardly phased her and she continued with her quest to ‘catch ‘em all’.
Next time you’re out, if you’re not already on Pokémon Go, take the opportunity to see how many people are walking round staring at their phones, swiping furiously. It is a game that has captured the teenagers of Eastbourne, but for us, it’s just that little bit too confusing.