‘Pokémon Go’ builds community camaraderie

Jul 15, 2016

A week ago, the butterfly bench in the Batavia Peace Garden, just past the Holland Land Office Museum in Batavia, only saw a handful of people on any given day. However, with the release of “Pokémon Go,” groups of around 30 — even more as the sun goes down — of all ages now hang around the park, which has three Pokéstops in the vicinity.

“This is a good spot,” said Matt Burdett, 24, of Batavia as he sat on a bench in the Batavia Peace Garden overlooking Tonawanda Creek, the nearby tree shading him from the hot afternoon sun. “By St. Joseph’s, there is four Pokéstops.”

Since “Pokémon Go” has been released, people who The Daily News stopped and talked to said across the board, they found themselves walking more.

“You don’t realize how much walking you do. I did three hours of walking (Monday) night,” said Amber King, 47, of Batavia. King said she started playing the app — which already surpassed Tinder in downloads — after her son suggested she download it. “I started at the (Holland Land Office) museum parking lot, and I found myself by City Hall.”

“I walked 20 miles since it came out,” said Adam Weaver, 20, of Batavia, who was outside with his younger brother, Ryan, who was 15.

“I just moved here and I didn’t know where the Post Office was until I started playing this,” said George Bausum, 24, of Batavia.

Not only have people started to exercise more, but people in the community have started to bond together. As The Daily News talked to other people in the Peace Garden, Adam Siedlecki, 44, of Batavia, shared some tips about tracking Pokémon with Jake Twardowski, 22, of Batavia.

“Nobody has been rude,” King said. “Everyone is getting along, especially with relating news.”

Almost as if to prove her point, a bit later on she suggested buying an external battery pack at WalMart for $11, which would alleviate problems people run into with the battery-drain the app has on the phone.

“You meet a lot of people. It’s fun. Everyone has been friendly and exchanging ideas,” said Adam Weaver. “I went for a mile yesterday with a bunch of strangers looking for a Weezing.”

 

By MALLORY DIEFENBACH, Batavia Daily News