Lawyers are used to using terminology that, to most people in the general population, sounds like a different language. Next time you head to the courthouse, however, listen closely and you might hear people talking about foreign topics like Charmanders, Psyducks, and Squirtles.
They’re characters from “Pokemon Go,” the augmented reality game for iOS and Android devices, and a certified hit—it’s been downloaded by more than 100 million people since its July launch, raked in more than $160 million in revenue in its first month, and caused the stock of parent company Nintendo to soar nearly 25 percent. The premise is simple—players wander around their communities trying to capture Pokemon (which is short for “pocket monsters”), then train their creatures to battle against other users.
Local landmarks are an important part of the game as either PokeStops (places where players can get training supplies) or Pokemon Gyms (places where players battle one another.) Quite of few of them have ties to the legal system.
For example, the State Bar building in Lansing is a PokeStop. In the game, players who get close enough to our GPS coordinates spin a button with a photo of the historical marker that sits on our site and collect their rewards.
Other PokeStops with include the Ingham County Courthouse, Charles Chamberlain Federal Building, Frank Kelley Capitol Walkway, Thomas Cooley Statue, and Gerald Ford’s star on the Michigan Walk of Fame, all in downtown Lansing; the Kalamazoo County 8th District Courthouse; and the Lapeer County Courthouse. The Ingham County Courthouse in Mason, meanwhile, is a Pokemon Gym.
There are likely more PokeStops and Pokemon Gyms located at Michigan legal sites. These are ones we found via a cursory search using both the app and a crowd-sourced map on the internet.
Not everyone is crazy about Pokemon Go, however. A St. Clair Shores couple is suing Nintendo and Niantic, the app’s publisher and developer, claiming their quality of life has been ruined by players visiting a city park across the street.
As an aside, your author has captured a few Pokemon right near the SBM building. One was Gastly, a creature that, according to the game’s index, is “largely composed of gaseous matter.”
We’re sure it was just a coincidence.
-Post by Michael Eidelbes