New Brunswick

Fredericton museum combines Pokemon Go and historical tour

A new walking tour by the Fredericton Region Museum will help Pokemon Go players catch them all in half an hour or less during a quick history lesson.

Fredericton Region museum introduces new walking tour downtown for Pokemon Go players

Sebastien Beriault, Paige Powell and Nathan Gavin are workers at the Fredericton Region Museum trying to encourage a sense of community by tying together history and Pokemon Go. (CBC)

It's a tough job to combine both a history tour and Pokemon Go, but the summer students at Fredericton Region Museum are willing to give it a try.

The legal release of Pokemon Go was on July 17 and it's the game that allows players to catch the classic Nintendo creatures called Pokemon.

Summer students at the Fredericton Region Museum had noticed the phenomenon of players walking around at all hours to catch the virtual creatures, especially near their workplace.

Nathan Gavin, one of the students at the museum, came up with the idea to combine both Pokemon Go and the history of the area.

He's calling it the "Pokemon in the Past" tour.

"There's a lot of pokestops downtown here and I like the idea that people should know why they're pokestops," said Gavin.

Nathan Gavin originally came up with the concept of a historical walking tour catered specifically to Pokemon Go players. (Megan Goddard/CBC)
Pokestops are places where players can tap on an icon on their phone and pick up resources for the game, such as pokeballs to capture Pokemon.

There are three pokestops in Officers Square, and the museum is one of them.

"We have 15 stops in our initial tour … People are taking the pokestops as we're talking, they're getting a little bit of history when they're playing Pokemon," said Gavin.

The tour guides plan on bringing their own phones along to play the game with the tour members.

Julie Bastarache is with Parks Canada 6:06

All players are welcome on tour

"This is an historical tour but this is also us trying to really get in touch with the Pokemon scene here," said Gavin.

He wants to be able to talk about Pokemon on the tours with others, since playing the game brings up a lot of nostalgia for the gamers.

"The way I see this is this is really just to get people interested in what's going on … this is less to give them raw information but to make them actually want to go see places on their own time as opposed to with us," said Gavin.

Sebastien Beriault and Paige Powell are summer students at the Fredericton Region museum who also play Pokemon Go. Beriault is one of the tour guides and Powell is the community engagement officer. (Megan Goddard/CBC)
Paige Powell, a summer student at the Fredericton Region Museum who works on community engagement, said she believes the museum is tapping into the original intention of the game's creators.

"I think that this tour is the kind of thing that the game was hoping would come out, because obviously the people who created the app made the pokestops historical landmarks for a reason," said Powell.

The tour takes 20 to 25 minutes unless the visitors are going on the extended tour.

"If we go out further, there's a couple of extra rare pokemon we can actually find on our way there and we hit seven other pokestops," said Gavin.

Any new players are encouraged to go on the tours and get help from the guides.