Pokémon Go

Hi. My name is Amelia. I am a [redacted] year old adult and I play Pokémon Go. I might be slightly addicted to the game. I’m not playing all day every day, but I have been known to go for a walk at lunch just to hunt Pokémon and visit a few PokéStops. Maybe you’ve seen some of my fellow players out and about; you know those groups of kids you see walking around in packs, the parents out with young children on long walks in the park or around the neighborhood, or even those two complete strangers who both recognize a fellow gamer and stop to compare their game play.

What is Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go is a game where players capture creatures called Pokémon and then evolve them and train them to then battle. The game is free to play but does support in-app purchases (but you don’t really need those). What makes this game different is the need to get out and explore the world around you; the game uses your mobile device’s GPS to track your location and alert you to Pokémon in your area.

The game is considered augmented reality because it uses your device’s camera to impose the image of the Pokémon you are trying to capture into the real world around you.
Hightstown Pokemon

How do you play?

As you move around, your character on screen moves in the same directions and you can see the streets and buildings in your area. When a Pokémon pops up on your screen, you tap it and then your first challenge begins; now you need to capture it by tossing Poke Balls at it. It is not as easy as it sounds; the higher the level the harder they are to catch and some of them can break out of the Poke Ball. You have to watch your supply of balls.

To pick up more Poke Balls and other supplies that will come in handy, you need to visit PokéStops. This is where the library comes into play. Libraries, historic sites and other popular locations are PokéStops. At a PokéStop, you get a picture of the location and, when spinning the image, random items appear. All the branches of the Mercer County Library System are PokéStops!

To train your Pokémon and battle you need to visit a gym. These are also locations in your area; my local gym is an Elks Lodge and the closest gym to the Lawrence Headquarters Branch is a pizza place. They are other popular locations in your area like a community gather place or a really well known landmark.
Pokemon 2Pokemon 3

How does this apply to the Mercer County Library System?

As I mentioned above, all the branches of the Mercer County Library System are PokéStops. Visitors to the branches can play the game while stopping in to use a computer, check out a book or attend a program. It is also a great way to participate in the last few weeks of our Summer Reading Programs. A few of the branches have walking programs associated with their Adult and Teen Summer Reading Programs. The Twin Rivers Branch's Adult Summer Reading Program and the Lawrence Headquarter Branch's Teen Summer Reading Program are asking participates to get outside and walk. It's not too late to sign up for these programs and get your walking counted while you play.

Our summer reading programs may be ending on August 5th, but there are still a few weeks of summer left. Get out and explore more of Mercer County:

Downtown HightstownAfter visiting the Hightstown Memorial Branch, take a walk down Main Street. It’s a beautiful downtown area and a lot of the historical landmarks are PokéStops.

NJ State Capital Complex and surrounding areaLearn about New Jersey government and history by visiting the State House, the State Museum, the New Jersey World War II Memorial, and Old Barracks Museum. You might even take in a Trenton Thunder Game (I’m told the outfield is filled with Pokémon).

Grounds for SculptureBuilt on the former New Jersey State Fairgrounds, this large park is home to a ever growing collection of outdoor sculptures. You can take a tour or just wander around on your own. A number of the sculptures are PokéStops (even the ones on the roads in the area). Maybe you’ll get a picture of a Pokémon with one of the peacocks that call the grounds home. Did you know you can reserve passes through the library? These passes are available at the Ewing Branch, Hickory Corner Branch, Hightstown Memorial Branch, Hopewell Branch, Lawrence Headquarters Branch, and the West Windsor Branch.

PrincetonYou can also visit downtown Princeton and spend the day in Palmer Square. Need to hatch some eggs? The Princeton Tour Company offers a variety of tours that will keep you walking.

Mercer County ParkMercer County is home to a number of beautiful parks and any one of them would be a great trip. However, the Mercer County Park is the biggest and filled with fun for everyone. The park hosts a number of events throughout the year and includes trails, a dog park, sports fields and you can even go kayaking on the lake.

Whether you are playing or driving a player around, remember to be safe and courteous. We hope to see you in the library soon.

-Amelia R. 


  1. So well written and I love the way you incorporated the different locations that are Poke stops in our area!


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