Pokémon Go strengthening local community one trainer at a time

Despite the warm late-afternoon sun, family and friends gathered in Downtown Casper for July’s Pokémon Go Community Day on Sunday afternoon.

In May, one member of the local Pokémon Go community lost their house to a fire. The community has since banded together on this Community Day to support their teammate, says player Miranda Simons. “It’s really nice to see everyone united for something.”

Sunday’s meet up included a bake sale, unique team bags printed at 1890 Screen & Stitch, and Wyoming-themed Pokémon stickers to raise funds for the family.

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Kenzel Washkington paints Pokemon-themed pictures at July’s Pokemon Go Community Day on Sunday. (Brittani Wert, Oil City)

Simons says she enjoys being a part of the Pokémon Go community, especially for those who grew up with the characters, “It’s a nice way to get a break from everything, walk downtown, talk about Pokémon, and meet people,” she says of the game.

Rhiannon Harrigan has been playing Pokémon for 20 years, so getting into this app was a natural step. She’s been playing Pokémon Go since day one and enjoys the strategy and animation of the game. “It’s really nice to see people of all ages play,” she says, but adds that it’s “definitely declining in players.”

Niantic, the software development company responsible for the creation of the app, sets up the day and time of each month’s Community Day, but local players set up their specific events. Community Day allows for players all over the country to meet up with their local groups and experience exclusive things in the game for a few hours.

“It gets people out of [the] house and engaging with each other. I’ve seen people get over depression, stop drinking, lose weight and finally get out of the house because of this game,” Harrigan says.

1890 Screen and Stitch printed team bags for the Pokemon Community Day this weekend. Even the family pups got in on the Pokemon action.
Kenzel Washkington paints Pokemon-themed pictures at July’s Pokemon GO Community Day on Sunday. (Brittani Wert, Oil City)