Ann Arbor's Pokémon Scene is Lit

. July 11, 2016.

The Pokémon scene in Ann Arbor is lit. Since the game launched last Wednesday, Nintendo has seen millions of app downloads, and the game is already installed on over 5% of Android devices in the US. The game is a mix of map data that leads you through the world to find Pokémon, usually located near Pokéstops — real-world landmarks like the Michigan Theater. Once you find a Pokémon on the phone screen, the app switches to augmented reality, allowing you to catch the creatures using the phone’s camera.

“(Pokémon) Go” downtown and you will see hundreds of Pokéstops that range from historic brass-placarded structures to popular night clubs. Niantic, the company that developed the app, drew on portals and locations submitted by users in its older apps, Ingress and Field Trip. Although the Niantic database isn’t currently accepting new locations, check out some of the Pokestops you can currently visit. (We aren’t even going to get into gym locations or comprehensive lists; there are just too damn many.)

  1. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – 914 Hill St
  2. U of M Law Library – 801 Monroe St
  3. KINDRED, Bill Barrett, 2002; Bronze Sculpture – Central Campus; Along sidewalk on west side of School of Social Work
  4. Fairy Garden – 4th & William
  5. The Beer Depot – 114 E William St
  6. The Ravens Club – 207 S Main St
  7. AADL – Downtown Branch – 343 S 5th Ave
  8. Power Center for the Performing Arts – 121 Fletcher St,
  9. UNTITLED (TOOTH FAIRY) Bill Barrett, 1971; Aluminum Sculpture – Central Campus; Dental School Courtyard
  10. Brass Block M – Center of the Diag
  11. University Hall Building Marker – Inside Angell Hall
  12. Michigan Theater – 603 E Liberty St
  13. Mural Outside of Pangea Piercing – 211 E Liberty St
  14. Neutral Zone – 310 E Washington St
  15. Ann Arbor City Hall – 301 E Huron St

So if you’re still wondering why hoards of undergrads are more conspicuously locked into their phones, fixated on inanimate objects, now you have an idea. The Pokémon scene is hot in Ann Arbor right now. There’s probably a Weedle somewhere in your vicinity at this very moment. This techno-social phenomenon is sure to be short lived, but it’s fun for at least a couple days. In the meantime, look out for aloof pedestrians…and drivers, as they float through the real world compelled by Pokémon Go.

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