This is a bit of an oddball pairing. Pokémon Go developer Niantic Labs ans Big Heritage have teamed up in the UK for a special event in the "ancient city of Chester." That is a direct quote, by the way. The purpose of this unlikely pairing is to curate historical locations throughout the city of Chester within Pokémon Go to encourage community engagement and education.
On the weekend of Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd of July, events will be staged across Chester, including activities based at Chester Castle, which will be open to the public for the first time in 20 years. Visitors to the city will be able to take part in a number of fun trail activities, with in-game and real-world surprises for Pokémon Go players. The weekend of events coincides with the annual Chester Heritage Festival, which celebrates the heritage of one of the world's most historic cities.
Chester will play host to Pokémon GO Trainers visiting the UK from around the world, turning historical sites into PokéStops that players can interact with. Big Heritage will also be working with schools across the Cheshire and Merseyside regions as part of an initiative to encourage young people to explore and learn about their local area by playing Pokémon Go together.
Honestly, its actually a pretty cute idea and a great way to get people interested in history. Personally, I've never needed an excuse to want to go wandering around cities and traipsing through castles, but Pokémon Go is a solid incentive for the less historically inclined. I hope we see events like these branch out from Chester to some more iconic locations.
Niantic's CEO and founder John Hanke said "I am incredibly excited about this partnership linking local history and Pokémon Go. We love the idea of using mobile games as a motivation for families to play outside together and perhaps to learn something interesting while they are at it!"
Big Heritage founder Dean Paton said "We are so excited about working with Niantic Labs, who are true innovators in their field, and as passionate as we are about getting people exploring and learning about the world around them. It's a genuine coup for Chester to be the 'test bed' for some amazing new ideas, and we hope we can use the game based on the iconic and beloved Pokemon brand as a tool for helping more people get excited about the past."
You can find more information on the events being offered over on Big Heritage's Facebook page.