Pokemon & History Tour of Downtown Binghamton

Today I led a 1-hour Pokemon & History tour of my city, stopping at  selected historical locations which also happen to be Pokestops or Pokemon Gyms in the hit game Pokemon Go. So many of us don’t see the places and landscapes surrounding us during our daily routine, and this seemed like a good way to grab peoples’ attention for a moment to give some historical context. I am happy to say several young people showed up and were glad to learn more about the context of each stop, otherwise understood as a thoroughly modern spot for collecting digital pets (for lack of a better term) and meeting new friends. We had fun, and we also learned things. I learned I am not very good at Pokemon Go.

I hope everyone who came enjoyed the tour and got even more curious about the historical sites in our region. I have made a Google Map and a short guide for you to refer back to – or go on the tour by yourself if you could not make it. I’m happy to supply you with more sources on the topics covered if you are curious!

Did I mention that I also included in the map all the historical markers within 100 miles of the city (as listed on the Historical Marker Database)? Niantic, the company which co-created Pokemon Go, used this database to start their maps, so many of the historical markers listed are designated Pokestops. Go out there and visit the history which surrounds you! Feel free to catch some Pokemon there, but be sure to read the signs, too.

If you’d like me to lead a tour for your group, let me know!

Without further ado:

Guide to Pokemon & History Tour

Map of Pokemon & History Tour — update: unfortunately the platform where this was hosted is no longer accessible!

If you enjoy historical walking tours, you may want to check out the Clio – Your Guide to History app (for Android or iOS.) It will locate historical places around you and show you images and descriptions of them – your own personal walking tour at your own pace. Some places even have historical photographs attached so you can compare what you see now to the past!

Coming up soon on the blog: how I’m assessing engagement with heritage through these tours, and my recommendations for planning your own Pokemon & History tour.

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