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Arts & Culture

Pokemon Go Brings Gamers, Art Lovers to Downtown Akron

photo of Roger Riddle, Floco Torres
Roger Riddle (left), with the Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau, was awarded a fellowship this summer from a partnership between the Knight Foundation and Niantic, makers of Pokemon Go. At Saturday's event, he was joined by musician Floco Torres.

A partnership between the Knight Foundation and a West Coast video game company aims to get people to explore Akron in a new way.

San Francisco-based Niantic created the game Pokemon Go, in which users can find characters from the game while navigating in the real world with a smartphone. Earlier this year, the company and the Knight Foundation awarded five fellowships for people to create a positive impact in their communities. One of the awards went to Roger Riddle, social media manager for the Akron-Summit Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. On Saturday, his first event invited people to use Pokemon Go to hit 10 public art installations around the city.

“If I want someone to see a piece of art that’s way on the south end of downtown, you put a Pokestop there and you interact with it. You may say, ‘oh I never knew this was here.’ So it’s a lot of fun to get people to explore the city.”

Riddle has two other events slated for this fall that will use Pokemon Go to get people to explore Akron: one in the Kenmore neighborhood, and one along the Towpath Trail.