Release Date: August 21,2018
Event builds community through virtual and real world experiences
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has teamed up with Downtown Akron Partnership and Niantic to encourage Akron residents and visitors to connect to the downtown neighborhood using the innovative augmented-reality experience of the popular mobile game, Pokémon GO.
Pokémon GO players will be able to discover and catch Pokémon, as well as trade Pokémon with friends and neighbors while exploring downtown Akron together. Guests can check in at Cascade Plaza on Main Street.
Throughout the day, the downtown corridor, already a favorite destination for Pokémon GO players, will include a series of PokéStops, which include local retailers and other downtown destinations. University of Akron students will be encouraged to explore downtown attractions via customized PokéStops.
Niantic, Inc., the developer and publisher of Pokémon GO, and Knight Foundation have an existing multi-year commitment to promote civic engagement in communities across the United States. These two organizations will support efforts to get citizens outside and exploring their towns through city-organized events.
"Pokémon GO has the unique ability to bring residents and technology out of the living room and into communities. We're excited to showcase the vibrancy of downtown, connect residents and further spark public life in Akron by incorporating Pokémon GO in this city-led event," said Kyle Kutuchief, Knight Foundation program director in Akron.
The event will feature programming to bridge the gap between the virtual and physical world and explore how place can foster connections between people which was the basis for a recent study by Washington University. Throughout the walk, attendees can convene at public charging stations and seating and enjoy musicians and activities. The one day event will conclude with a free screening of, Pokémon The Movie: I Choose You, at the Akron-Summit County Public Library. More information about the screening can be found on Eventbrite.
In addition to the specialized programming, the event will encourage players to participate in other activities planned in downtown Akron that weekend, including free admission to Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival's Saturday night performance of Troy Roberts Nu-Jive and Sean Jones Quartet at Lock 3. A full list of activities taking place in downtown Akron can be found at downtownakron.com.