Pokémon is a game in which you play as a trainer. Your job is to find Pokémon (adorable little creatures) in the world and capture them using a Pokéball. Then you go through a series of training exercises to increase the abilities of the Pokémon you have found. When ready, you use your stronger Pokémon to battle other trainers for control of important locations in the world.
Pokémon games have existed for decades on video games consoles. But Pokémon Go is the first time the little creatures and game mechanics have left the digital space and been integrated into the real world. Using the camera on a smartphone, players walk around outdoors and hunt for Pokémon. When one is found, it appears on the phone’s screen, as if really out there in the world. Once captured with a Pokéball, it will not level up an get increased abilities until the player has walked a certain distance playing the game. It is a fun way to encourage going outside, getting exercise, and meeting new people also playing the game.
PokéStops are important because they are where players refill their in-game items. Pokéballs can run out. Then players either have to wait a certain amount of time before the game automatically gives them more, or they can pay money for a refill. Since people would likely be walking on to the church property while playing the game to use the location as a PokéStop and refill all their items for free, we decided to welcome them in some way.
A couple days last week our Communications Coordinator Benjamin Chicka sat at a picnic table on the lawn with a bunch of ice cold bottles of water and cans of Coke. A sign with the church’s logo and name was put next to the table, along with “PokéStop, Free Drinks” to welcome people to our space. About a dozen people, many playing the game, stopped on those hot sunny days and took a cold drink. Many more stopped just to say hello, or chuckle and the sign and take a picture. It was a simple way to show some generosity to people who were passing by our space.
If you want to know when this happens again, like the church’s page on Facebook. We will post there when free drinks are being given out again. When that happens, please stop by and grab something, even if you aren’t playing the game.