A beloved Pokémon GO player passed away in Taiwan, and over 600 players held an in-game tribute in her honor.
Pokémon GO’s success lies not just with the fact that kids play the game--tons of adults play it too. You know you’ve struck it big when even 80-year-old retirees pick up their cell phones and walk around town catching Pokémon just like 14-year-old kids out on their lunch recess.
One such player was FengFeng128, a 79-year-old trainer from Tainan, Taiwan. She was well known in the local Pokémon GO community, even having earned the nickname of “Fangfang Auntie”, according to Taiwanese news site ET Today.
Tragically, Fangfang was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier this year. This didn’t stop her from playing Pokémon GO, however, and she would frequently be seen around town with her twin cell phones and a mobility scooter.
She fought bravely, but Fangfang eventually lost her battle with cancer on September 31st.
The news of Fangfang’s death was a heavy blow to the local Pokémon GO community. In a farewell send-off, the community organized a tribute to be held in Fangfang’s honor that was held last Saturday afternoon.
Over 600 players congregated in Tainan’s city center and laid incense at all the Pokéstops around town. To anyone logging in, it would appear like the entire city was being covered in cherry blossoms. In addition, opposing team members forfeited their gyms and allowed Fangfang’s team--Team Valor--to take over.
The event lasted 3 hours. Fangfang’s granddaughter recorded the event by using Fangfang’s own phones to snap screenshots of Tainan.
In an interview with ET Today, Fangfang’s granddaughter gave a heartwarming statement that probably makes more sense in its native language and not filtered through Google Translate.
"I really appreciate these treasurers, so that Pokémon GO is no longer just a game, but It can be rich in human feelings,” she said. “It also describes the grasping of treasures as 'the fate of the aunt.'"
Fangfang’s favorite Pokémon was Milotec, which is a pretty fantastic choice for a pretty fantastic Pokémon GO player. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Fangfang’s family from all of us here at TheGamer.