The 90’s kids have grown up, and we’ve decided that a Pokemon Go Bar Crawl is the hot thing to do on the weekends.
The Pokemon Go Bar Crawl I attended was labeled as “the first” in Honolulu, and I hope it won’t be the last. The event took over several major venues in Honolulu’s Chinatown district, including the popular Downbeat Diner and the gay nightclub Scarlet. The venues continued to do what they do best – provide a fun atmosphere with affordable drinks, loud music, and active dance floor – but the clientele were loudly and proudly geeks. There were cosplayers, geeky shirts as far as the eye could see, and even many of the dancers dressed as characters (to the girl who looked like Poison Ivy, I salute you!).
Most uniquely, everyone understood if you suddenly got preoccupied by your phone, because hey there’s a Poliwhirl nearby and I just need one more to evolve to a Poliwrath. We were all in the same boat and know that this silly little game sometimes means I’ve got to set my beer down for a moment because holy heck there’s a Pokemon on the dance floor and I need to catch it. I usually try to be subtle about sneaking out my phone to play, but not here, man. Not here.
As the night went on, the people who ran the event gave out raffle prizes. I found myself following the raffle from venue to venue discovering bars I’d never entered before. At each bar the staff was proudly sporting Pokemon gear and seemed inviting of the sudden influx of hundreds of geeks into their establishment. Recently a local Oahu Bar – The Pint and Jigger – made waves across the Pokemon Go community nationwide for their anti-Pokemon Go statements. Yes, they are in the same town as this bar crawl. But no, they don’t represent the attitudes of the Oahu bar scene. They are an outlier.
Even outside the bar crawl area I’ve felt welcomed. My favorite spot is Tropics near the university, which is on the opposite end of town from the bar crawl. There’s a stop right in the bar, one next door, and one across the street. Lures are going almost all the time and even the bartenders will play when things get slow. Oahu’s bar scene is definitely Pokemon Go friendly, so don’t let that one lonely place taint the picture of our wonderful geeky little island.
The Pokemon Go bar crawl was a huge success, and I hope there will be many more to come. The only downside was that Chinatown is basically Pidgey-ville and the only unique thing I caught all night was a very low CP Scyther. But hey, at least those 38 Pidgey’s I caught were good for using a Lucky Egg and rapidly evolving a ton of crap I’d been saving up. Not all bad, eh? I would definitely do it again given the chance.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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