Surely you’ve heard about Pokémon Go by now. You might have played it. Countless news stories have been written since Nintendo’s newest game became an overnight success. There are municipalities who let players walk dogs from the animal shelter in exchange for catching a few Pokémon, businesses who have free ice cream cones for players who have hit a certain level, and even the Sydney Opera House has gotten in on the fun. Pokémon Go has been bringing people to public areas that they otherwise wouldn’t visit, and the City of Brownwood is no exception.
According to Parks and Recreation staff Saul Leer, who wished to remain anonymous, the City has begun planting Pokélures at not just the Public Library, Coggin, and Riverside parks, but also on streets that the City can no longer afford to maintain. “The Pokémon you’ll find in the parks are run of the mill sorts, but the ones you have to work for, those are the good ones”
And by work for, he means clear the blight. Using source code derived from Niantic Corp, Leer can instantly summon Pokémon once players complete tasks. “Right now, we’ve just got Dale Street working. If I see someone mowing a vacant lot, I’ll summon a couple for them. A few more if they gather rubble. And if they manage to get someone from the Street Maintenance department off their ass and patch these potholes, I’ll summon 8 of them.”
Long thought to be abandoned, it appears that Dale Street is set to become one of the hottest spots in the Brownwood area for Pokémon trainers. The Examiner visited Dale Street early Thursday Night and spotted 3 different Pokémon, as well as two transients. It’s still an abysmal thoroughfare, one of the worst in Brownwood, but there may be hope for it yet.
While many find this new approach to be novel and creative, others are offended. “It’s sort of like unpaid labor” stated gamer Tracy Davidson. “I know that Pokémon Go brings people to areas, but is Dale Street even worth bringing people to? I feel like I’m going to be mugged any minute. Still, I’ve leveled up twice and all I’ve had to do was move a pile of old tires.”
Leer reassured potential gamers that Dale Street was “as safe as anywhere else in Brownwood” and reiterated the importance on cleaning the blighted area up. “The Coleman Chronicle & Democrat-Voice keeps running editorials about Dale Street, and how if Brownwood doesn’t do something about it, the north side of Coleman will have higher property values. We can’t allow that to happen.”