It’s the craze that’s taking London, Ontario and the world by storm – Pokémon GO, the augmented reality app that allows players to collect and train Pokémon in their areas using a GPS system. Here at Banting House, this app has had some surprising effects on visitors! Ever since it was released, we’ve received a number of people who come to the museum and Sir Frederick G. Banting Square to “catch ‘em all”.
There are two Pokestops in and around the museum. One is The Globe, a statue created by Daniel Castillo in 2010, which sits atop a time capsule that will be opened when the cure for diabetes is found. The other is the mural of Frederick Banting and Charles Best, located at the corner of Dundas St. and Adelaide St. At these locations, players can access Pokeballs and other items which aid them in the game.
Many small museums, including Banting House, have seen interest from a new demographic with the release of Pokémon GO. The game appeals to both adults who watched Pokémon when it first came out, and younger people who have watched the series more recently. Because many Pokestops are located at cultural landmarks, the game is changing how people engage with historical and cultural spaces, like those around Banting House.
In addition, Pokémon GO promotes movement and fitness – in order to use the game, players must travel around their city to access Pokestops and gyms, where they can train their Pokémon. Players must also find Pokémon around the city – some players walk many kilometers a day looking for rare Pokémon. Increased levels of activity lead to a decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes, making the benefits of Pokémon GO twofold for the museum!
So, if you’re playing Pokémon GO in London, be sure to drop by Banting House – you never know when a rare Pokémon could show up, and we always seem to find a few hanging around the museum! We’ll be waiting here to help you become the very best, like no one ever was.
This post was written by Kylie Smith. Kylie recently graduated with a B.A. in history and anthropology from The University of Western Ontario, and will be attending teachers college in the fall.
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