(L-R) Mary, Michael, and Dylan gettin blitzed on Pikachu cocktails and passin on Zubats. .
(L-R) May, Michael, and Dylan gettin' blitzed on Pikachu cocktails and passin' on Zubats at Seattle Immersive Theater. Kelly O

“I knowingly stepped in a pile of dog shit in order to catch a Rhyhorn,” said a friend of mine who will remain nameless.

It may sound extreme to you that someone would willingly step in a pile of dog shit to snag a digital monster, but consider the choice from my friend’s angle. A Rhyhorn is rare, and it’s cool-lookin’. She doesn’t know if she’s ever going to run into another Rhyhorn again. She doesn’t know if the game is going to suddenly glitch and ruin her one chance. She really wants this Rhyhorn. She can wash off a shoe.

I wanted to know what lengths people have gone to in order to find the Pokemon of their dreams. To find out, last night Kelly O and I headed down to a well-attended Pokemon Go meet-up at Seattle Immersive Theater.

The Pikachu cocktail came with two cherries to match its little cheeks, which was VERY CUTE.
There were themed cocktails at the Pokemon Go meet-up. The Pikachu cocktail came with two cherries to match its little cheeks, which was VERY CUTE. RS

For $6, Seattle Immersive Theater bought eight "Pokemon lures" and dropped them every half hour over the course of four hours. This transformed their 15,000 square foot theater space into a hub for Pokemon and those who wished to catch Pokemon.

Julia Nardin, SIT’s media liaison, told me that the theater wanted to do an open house, and that inviting people in to catch Pokemon and to sip Pokemon-inspired cocktails seemed like a nice way to accomplish that goal.

An adaptation of Turn of the Screw is currently running at the theater, so the lounge is done up in high gothic style. Lots of deep mahoganies. Skulls. Fainting couches. Elaborate wallpaper. The theater’s many other rooms contained remnants of the buildout from their last show, a Baz Luhrmann-like version of Romeo + Juliet. In general, I felt as if I was walking around inside a giant casket.

Thats Debbie on the left and Sophia on the right. Debbie has a Windows phone, which doesnt support the Pokemon Go app. So she was just there to observe and drink.
That's Debbie on the left and Sophia on the right. They live in Shoreline. Debbie has a Windows phone, which doesn't support the Pokemon Go app. She said she was just there to observe and drink. Kelly O

Rich Smith: What team are you on?

Sophia: Unaffiliated. I'm torn between two teams. I have a lot of friends on Valor, but I like Team Mystic.

RS: You have a snake.

Sophia: It's an Arbok! I caught it in the UW area.

RS: What's your dream Pokemon?

Sophia: Ninetails.

RS: Are you worried about privacy? I heard hackers can hack you and read your mail.

Sophia: I am now!

RS: What's the craziest thing you've ever done to catch a Pokemon?

Sophia: I walked into a Safeway. I was trying to find a Staryu. I was circling around in the parking lot and I thought that maybe it was in the Safeway? So I went inside and found it near the pharmacy.

RS: Did you get a 7-Up cake while you were there?

Sophia: [Laughter] No, I didn't buy anything.

You remember these guys? May, Michael, and Dylan? They think that SIT was full of Zubats because it was so creepy inside.
You remember these guys? May, Michael, and Dylan? They thought the theater was full of Zubats because it was so creepy inside. Kelly O

May: I got a Golduck!.

RS: Whaaaaaaat!? Where'd you find that?

May: Near Elliott Bay on the Waterfront.

RS: What's the craziest thing you've ever done to catch a Pokemon?

May: I didn't do anything crazy, but I was walking with my friend on the day the game came out and I had to pull their shirt to save them from stepping into oncoming traffic.

Michael: They should sell leashes for adults on Amazon!

RS:
You can get those, but I'd recommend Babeland. What about you, Michael. Craziest thing?

Michael: I definitely didn't have plans last Sunday, and so I wandered around downtown for four hours catching Pokemon. All the interesting characters you see downtown were confused by all of the interesting characters who were staring at their phones. When I explained the situation to a panhandler, he looked confused and said that he and his friends used to go into the woods to smoke weed.

Dylan: Two days ago, out on Elliott Avenue there was a naked guy. He came up from the train tracks with his swimsuit in his hand. He was tired of his swimsuit, I guess. Anyway, I was trying to pick up some Weedles, and he was in the Weedle area. So I was catching Weedles next to a naked guy.

(L-R) Mike Gillson, Elle Gerard, T.J. Rogers, Jimmer. Elle guessed that Seattle is full of Drowzees and Zubats and other cave-like Pokemon because we dont get enough sun.
(L-R) Mike Gillson, Elle Gerard, T.J. Rogers, Jimmer. Elle guessed that Seattle is full of Drowzees and Zubats and other cave-like Pokemon because we don't get enough sun. Kelly O

RS: What's the wildest thing that's happened to you all while trying to catch Pokemon?

Jimmer: I don't do anything too wild.

Mike Gillson: I missed two buses on the way to work because I was trying to catch a Pidgeot.

Elle Gerard: I told my boss a white lie. I said I had to go to a client meeting, which was in a building next-door, so that I could go catch some Pokemon. I really wanted to catch this Eevee in the parking lot, but it poofed and disappeared when I got to it. So I just went back inside and told my boss that the meeting was canceled.

T.J. Rogers: I don't have this game, but I played Ingress [an augmented reality game] a lot, so I spent a lot of time with the pre-cursor to this game. People thought we were aliens when were playing that game, but in the last week or so the world is like [he makes a 'ding' sound with his mouth]—it's changing everything.

Nora and Katri. Nora was visiting Katri, who lives downtown.
Nora and Katri. Nora was visiting Katri, who lives downtown. Kelly O

Katri: I have physically run into so many people while walking in the street. Mostly, they were mostly playing Pokemon, too.

RS: What were you looking for?

Katri: I'd really like to get a Charizard.

RS: I heard there were some Charmanders in West Seattle.

Katri: Really? That's good tip.

Nora: I never played Pokemon as a child, so I'm just doing it because my friends are doing it. They say I didn't have a proper childhood because I didn't play Pokemon. But now I'm really enjoying it!

RS: Is there a Pokemon you find yourself drawn to?

Nora: I wanna see what Drowzee's about because he keeps coming again and again. And the Zubats are such wild creatures!

This is Lauren. 1. Her phone chain is sick. 2. She told me that she really wanted to catch a Diglett. As we were talking, guess who popped up?
This is Lauren. 1. Her phone necklace is sick. 2. She told me that she really wanted to catch a Diglett. Guess who popped out of the ground while we were doing the interview? THAT'S THE MAGIC OF JOURNALISM. Kelly O

RS: Where do you live?

Lauren: First Hill.

RS: Did you take a bus here?

Lauren: I actually walked all the way. It took about an hour. I caught a Geodude.

RS: Where'd you catch it?

Lauren: By the highway.

RS: I was going to ask you about the craziest thing you've ever done to catch a Pokemon, but I guess walking here from First Hill is it, huh?

Lauren: Yeah.

Lira LeClair. She decided to move to Seattle a few months ago on a whim.
Lira LeClair. She decided to move to Seattle a few months ago on a whim. Her favorite Pokemon is a Clefairy. Kelly O

Lira: The wildest thing I've done so far is just take some time to go outside and walk around parks.

RS: That's not really your thing, huh?

Lira: Not really. I guess I'm more of an inside person. I like the game in that it motivates me to step out and get some fresh air.

***

What I learned talking to all these people is that the genius of Pokemon Go is that nobody really knows how to play it yet. The game offers very few instructions up front, and even those who have the gameplay down still don't know where to find which Pokemon, whether there are a finite number of Pokemon in a given area, what determines which Pokemon you can see in the wild, etc. Thus all the players start out lost. Thus all the players need each other. Once everyone learns how to play the game, then people won’t need each other anymore and everyone will crawl back into their clam shells. But, at least for the next week or so, the Poké-curious will be out in the public places, spreading a bunch of hot gossip about the possibilities of Charmanders in West Seattle.