Largest Pokemon Go Event Takes over San Francisco Streets

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) — The wildly popular mobile app taking the country by storm amassed thousands of "Pokemon Go" players in San Francisco on Wednesday.

"Pokemon Go" is an augmented reality treasure hunt in which players walk around in real life to capture virtual characters as they pop up on their smartphone screens.

What started as a Facebook event for friends turned into the biggest Pokemon event yet. Thousands gathered at the Embarcadero and Dolores Park with the goal of catching as many Pokemon as possible while socializing during the seven-hour event that spanned 3.5 miles.

The Golden City transformed into a gold mine for hunting Pokemon.

"I don't see why you wouldn't be playing it," Scott Olofsen told ABC News.

With so many players involved in the event, servers struggled to meet demands. Persistent crashes on the app left many players frozen with an error message for hours.

Hackers took credit for the server crash on social media.

Frustrated players who experienced frozen screens rejoiced once the game was back in action.

The app has proven to be extremely distracting for some players.

A Baltimore police body camera caught a distracted "Pokemon Go" driver crashing into a parked police patrol car early Monday morning. An officer followed the driver, who eventually stopped to show the game on his cellphone.

"That's what I get for playing this dumb [a--] game," the driver told the officer, in the nearly 90 second video.

No injuries were reported. The driver wasn't identified in the video and police did not say if he was facing any charges.

With rising safety concerns around the game, police in San Francisco made sure to have extra patrols out to keep players away from harm during the event on Wednesday.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Check Also

California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfires

California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfiresGoogle Earth(NEW YORK) -- Ravaged by a slew of deadly wildfires in recent days, northern California is set to get a bit of relief this week in the form of rain.

A storm system is expected to move over the Pacific Northwest later this week and the trailing cold front will most likely bring some much-needed rain to northern California between Thursday and Friday, according to ABC meteorologists.

"It will rain a bit but not enough to fully douse the blazes," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark said in a statement Tuesday. "The biggest advantage to firefighters will be the increase in humidity and lower temperatures."

Massive wildfires have charred more than 245,000 acres of land statewide in the past week, killing at least 41 people and destroying thousands of homes, according to authorities.

Firefighters were battling about a dozen wildfires as of late Tuesday evening, although most of them were more than halfway contained.

“The weather today will be warm with low humidity, which will continue to challenge firefighters, but only light winds are forecast,” CalFire said in a statement on Tuesday. “A chance of precipitation is expected to arrive later in the week, bringing relief from the dry conditions.”

The northern parts of the Golden State, which has bared the brunt of the fire damage, is forecast to see an influx of cloudy, cooler and wetter weather later in the week, according to AccuWeather.

Spotter from Los Osos was reporting sprinkles from this high level moisture. Dry at lower levels. Rain evaporates. Also called "Virga" #cawx pic.twitter.com/sgxj3bdXZQ

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) October 18, 2017

However, a return of dry air, heat and areas of gusty winds could once again raise the wildfire danger early next week, meteorologists said.

Separately, a band of moisture, referred to as Atmospheric River by weather experts, is currently stretching between Asia and North America. It’s expected to bring several storm systems into many parts of the Pacific Northwest through the rest of the week.

The first of these storms have already hit the Pacific Northwest with wind gusts of between 40 and 74 mph.

A number of wind warnings and flood watches are in effect in the western and northern parts of the U.S. ahead of the storm.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.