Community Unites with Pokémon Go Events

Stock image; creative commonsThe world has become overrun with Pokémon, luckily there are plenty of trainers eager to catch them. The residents of Cape Girardeau have embraced this cultural phenomenon with several city-wide Pokémon Go events.


Pokémon Go is a free game that is available as an app on iphones and androids. It uses GPS and augmented reality to give players an interactive and immersive experience. Players actively search for Pokémon, hatch eggs, and collect items by walking and visiting ‘PokéStops’ in their area.

A meet-up in the park sounds simple enough, but Pokémon Go Cape has received 405 interested clicks on their Facebook page as of July 27. Event organizers Michael Rosenzweig and Samantha Follis have made no comment regarding special activities for the event, it is simply a meet-up for Pokémon Go players.

Heather Gillock is an art student at Southeast Missouri State University, and a long time player of Pokémon games. She has become a big fan of Pokémon Go, and plans on attending the event at Cape County North, “I think Pokémon Go is a great thing for many people. It’s a chance for technology to bring people together. This event will be an exciting new experience for me and probably many other people attending. It’s a chance for those who may not have people to play Pokémon Go with to meet some new people with a common interest.”

Many players have found the game more than just entertaining, Heather says that, “I know many people who have struggled with anxiety and depression that this game has helped because they go outside, become more active, and interact with friends again. Pokémon Go provides the motivation that some people need.”

Heather personally finds the game to be a great group activity, “I love being outside, but I didn’t want to go by myself. This is a chance for me to get out with friends and have fun. It’s also great to have a game from my childhood that I loved be reimaged into a new game that fits modern times that all age groups can play.”

The route for the event starts in Cape County Park North. From there it will move to Arena Park, then Capaha Park, and will end in Downtown Cape. Players can move at their leisure, but each location will be occupied for 1 - 2 hours, during which PokéStops will be equipped with lures to attract rare Pokémon to the vicinity.

In case of heavy rain the event will be postponed to a later date, but will be held in light rain.

Other events are taking place in the area as well. On August 27 Pokémon Go players Trey Westrich and Daniel Wilkens will be hosting Pokémon Go Semo Cookout. This will be held at shelter #4 in Cape County Park North. All players of any team and skill level are invited to enjoy food, meet fellow players, and take advantage of the nearby PokéStops. Daniel Wilkens said, "Basically, we just wanted to create an event that brought players together. This game is already fantastic for getting people out and meeting new people, but we figured an event that united people under the comradery of "trainers" instead of dividing them along team lines would be fun. Plus, who doesn't like getting together for food?"

Even businesses have taken advantage of this popular franchise. In Downtown Cape Main Street Station offers discounted drinks to players. The Arts Council of Southeast Missouri held a Pokémon Go art walk, and individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit have taken to popular stops to sell food and water to players.

Pokémon Go has provided an outlet for further community involvement as more events continue to take place, uniting players in fun, outdoor environments.


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