The popular smartphone game, “Pokemon Go”, is drumming up business for local businesses, including Lino’s Restaurant, which has turned into a gaming hot spot after being designated a Pokemon Gym.
Pokemon Go is the latest iteration of Nintendo’s popular Pokemon gaming franchise. The latest version is an augmented reality game which uses the GPS and camera functions of a smartphone or tablet to allow players to capture, train, and battle virtual creatures, called Pokemon, which appear on the device screens as though in the real world.
“The [players] collect these Pokemon [and] bring them to a gym and they build up [and] develop the character itself,” said Charlie Schwinler, a worker at Lino’s.
Schweinler says the game is bringing gamers to the restaurant at all hours of the day.
“I happened to step outside at 6am to take a picture of the beautiful sunrise with our logo, and I saw some kids outside actually playing,” Schweinler says. “Our pizza business has increased slightly, because these guys are getting out and exploring the world around them and seeing the great sites and attractions around the city itself.”
It’s not just businesses that are benefiting.
The Rock River Valley Blood Center tweeted out that it has a rare a Pokemon hanging out there. Officials hope people stop by to catch it, as well as donate blood while they’re there.