War continues to rage in the Middle East, Britain is on the brink of breaking Europe’s back, American cities are in flames, and now the nation’s capital is in the middle of a large-scale Pokémon invasion.
The release of Pokémon GO, the new augmented-reality, smart-phone game, has geeks across the world walking around their neighborhoods whilst staring down at their screens, looking for digital landmarks placed at real-world locations. The goal is to walk to these actual spots and then check in to them online, like a Foursquare for even bigger nerds. Most of the check points are automated and are not at all affected by the players who stop by. Other spots, called Gyms, require continued interaction with a human player, which is where the game gets immersive — and apparently, political.
As pointed out by several Reddit users, there are currently Pokemon Gyms set up at both the White House and The Pentagon, which are perhaps the two most secure buildings in the United States.
When there’s a Pokémon on top of a Gym, it means that someone who visited that location has claimed it for his own. It’s unclear who conquered the Gym at the Pentagon, because it would require access to the building to visit and fight the Gym Master. Maybe it was a janitor, perhaps it was a five-star general or CIA leader.
No one’s speaking up about it, but at least one Redditor has copped to wandering around the nation’s capital, looking to toss some Pokeballs at odd hours.
“I work in DC. Was walking around the Washington Monument ~5AM picking up the pokestops and security (i.e. Secret Service) came up and asked what I was doing,” user zambixi wrote. “They were very nice once I explained what was going on, though.”
Maybe the Secret Service love to play Pokémon Go, and maybe a certain agent was the one who had the discipline to raise a Blastoise — a very high-level Pokémon that requires a lot of training — at the White House after less than one day. Or maybe it was just President and Poke-Gym Leader Brock Obama, showing off his expertise.