INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Pokémon Go players were looking for love on the canal in downtown Indianapolis Friday night. The latest craze in cell phone gaming is bringing people together in ways you might not imagine.
“It’s more of using Pokémon Go as an icebreaker kind of thing,” said Thomas Jones, who helped organize the first Poké Singles Meet Up.
More than 600 people were interested in the event on Facebook, with at least 250 saying they would show up.
Players we talked to were mostly on the canal for the game.
“Just playing Pokémon, not really looking for the love of my life,” said Christian Palmert.
“That would be crazy, Pokémon brought some people together,” said Alyssa Yorn.
Jones said love really wasn’t the focus. Instead, the meet up is about making new friends, face-to-face, showing how Pokémon Go has helped some with social anxiety, like himself, overcome their fears.
“People with social anxiety, I know a lot of people deal with that,” Jones said, “It would make Pokémon Go a common thing for us to come together over, then maybe you meet someone cool. Maybe you meet a new friend.”
Indianapolis millennial life coach Lindsay Boccardo said Pokémon Go is teaching people how to connect in a meaningful way and empowering some players, likely sparking a new wave of confidence.
“What Pokémon Go is doing is, it’s allowing people to get out and meet others by doing a task together, which is a lot less stressful,” she said, “I think that if somebody wants to get to know other people this is a great way to get started.”
Christian Palmert agrees.
“I’ve been in Indy for a year now, and I haven’t made maybe three or four friends, and since the game’s released in the past weeks I’ve met hundred of people, and we all connect with the same thing,” he said.
Organizers said 150 people came to the singles meet up Friday night. They hope to hold larger events in the future.
You can find the Pokémon Go group for Indianapolis on Facebook by clicking here.