Pokémon at Presque Isle

Elizabeth Shewan, Contributing Writer

Ready! Set! Pokémon Go! The augmented reality game that allows players to capture and battle Pokémon in the real world has grown incredibly popular since its release in July with over 130 million downloads worldwide.

The game has been praised by health experts for getting people moving in a unique way on dailymail.com.

Mercyhurst has several Pokéstops, which are places marked on a map in the app that allow players to collect gear and pokéballs The ’Hurst also has a gym on campus, an area that allows different Poké Trainers to battle each other and make the gym their team color.

“It’s a good way to get people active and participating in the community,” said freshman Sarah Ferko, who also enjoys it for its nostalgic factor. “I played Pokémon a lot as a kid, as well as watched the show, [so the game] reminds me of some really good memories.”

However, Pokémon Go has received its share of censure, for contributing to accidents and for large numbers of players becoming, in some places, a public nuisance.

One such place is Presque Isle State park, specifically the site of the Perry Monument. In the area are five Pokéstops and a gym, which has made it an ideal location for playing the game.

However, this situation is not ideal for the park, which has had problems with litter, parking and would-be visitors are being driven away.

This has led to park administration contacting Niantic, the developer, and asking them to remove the Pokéstops surrounding the monument.

While it’s certainly a problem, it is easy to see why people would enjoy playing Pokémon Go at the Perry Monument.

The area offers wonderful views of Presque Isle Bay, and there is some resonance in fighting Pokémon battles at the spot dedicated to Oliver Hazzard Perry’s victory in The Battle of Lake Erie.

Indeed, because of Pokémon many people that would not visit the monument otherwise are coming and learning about the history and staying to enjoy the peninsula and all it offers.

However, Pokémon Go players have made it harder for non-players to enjoy the park.

Parking by the monument has become difficult since its popularity with players of the game, and some people who have come to enjoy nature are disturbed by the players who have also been leaving a great deal of litter behind.

Although the park should not have to contend with so much litter and non-playing visitors should be able to have a peaceful and enjoyable time, it seems the Presque Isle administration could find a way that allows Pokémon Go players to enjoy their favorite game amidst the beauty of the peninsula, while keeping the park a pleasant place for all people.