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Pokemon Go craze hits the Republican convention

Jonathan Davis and Jennifer Madsen, two Republican delegates from Louisiana, have brought their obsession with Pokemon Go to the Republican convention in Cleveland.

Two convention attendees form a bond thanks to Pokemon Go Shayna Freisleben

Davis, 23, and Madsen, "not 23" (she later said she's 34), are members of Louisiana's delegation and self-described "kind of dorks." They admit they probably wouldn't be spending so much time with each other, were it not for their shared interest in Pokemon Go.

At a four-day long event -- with dozens of speakers and some unavoidable programming lulls -- the game has functioned as an ideal way to kill time on the convention floor.

That an augmented reality game in which anime characters materialize in players' real-world environs is being played at the convention seems somehow in keeping with the zeitgeist of this election and its fusion of entertainment and reality.

For the uninitiated, both delegates offered a Pokemon Go explainer: there are three teams -- yellow, blue and red. Madsen is a proud member of team blue; Davis is team yellow.

"It makes sense he's team yellow," Madsen, of Algiers Point, La., says with the slightest hint of mocking disdain. "He was a Cruz supporter."

Given the association of red with Republicans, it might seem a little odd that neither is team red. But that's a "no-go" here in the GOP convention ecosystem, Madsen says, offering one simple reason: Hillary Clinton is team red, and they don't exactly want to be #WithHer.

Quicken Loans Arena's crowd density puts up some hurdles for Pokemon Go players, as they move around to catch Poke creatures, including "Drowzees" and the ever-elusive "Gyarados."

"Getting a good GPS signal is hard," Madsen says.

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The servers are often down, and access to charging stations can be challenging, Davis says. (The game is something of a battery killer.)

But Madsen and Davis have grown adept at spotting other Pokemon Go players inside the perimeter, and it's fostered a sense of kinship at the convention.

"You can tell by the way they're staring at their phone," they say. "If you see someone swiping upwards, they're playing."

The game, by the way, is not limited to young or tech-savvy delegates, Madsen says. One of the "older gentlemen" in Louisiana's delegation has been running around the arena, attempting to catch Pokemon for his child at home.

"I mean, it's the best souvenir he could bring from Cleveland," Madsen says.

And one more bonus, they say, comes from the constant sweeping of "The Q" for creatures.

"This game has promoted physical activity far more than Michelle Obama has," Davis says.