Over 9,000 People Take to the Streets of San Francisco for ‘Pokemon Go’ Meetup

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

San Francisco just hosted a massive impromptu Pokemon event, courtesy of over 9,000 avid fans and their smartphones.

A server outage on Wednesday nearly derailed the biggest gathering of monster hunters that the city has ever seen. But if anything, death by popularity should tell you just how massive the pop culture tidal wave that is Pokemon Go has become.

Armed with “pokeballs” fashioned from Christmas tree ornaments and a taser disguised as a Pokemon lure, Natasha Ashbury joined surprised organizer Sarah Witsch. Witsch had only announced the meetup via a Facebook post the night before, but 8,000 people had already confirmed their attendance at that point.

Within hours, businesses were already offering promotions based on the city crawl for pocket monsters. Several hundred mobbed the waterfront right off the bat, singing the theme song to the game-based anime and flaunting their team affiliations in a raucous demonstration of the community quickly forming around the mobile augmented reality phenomenon.

While the spread of starting locations — and the lack of any defined route — makes it all but impossible to gauge the precise level of participation, it’s pretty obvious that Pokemon Go continues to gain momentum at a breakneck pace normally reserved for teenage pop sensationsweird accessories, or laying on top of things.

Follow Nate Church @Get2Church on Twitter for the latest news in gaming and technology, and snarky opinions on both.