Revolutionary War-related locations across the state are being invaded by imaginary creatures and gamers who are trying to catch ’em all.
Pokémon Go—a mobile app that allows players to catch Pokémon in real locations through an augmented reality—has drawn new visitors to some of New Jersey’s most famous landmarks, including the Old Barracks Museum in Trenton.
Since the game’s launch on July 6, several historic sites have reported an increase in visitors, Noreen Bodman, executive director of Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area, said.
The game allows players to catch Pokémon anywhere, but they need to visit designated PokéStops in order to get additional items. Most of the PokéStops can be found at landmarks, parks and historic locations.
While police departments are worried the app will increase distracted driving or walking accidents—many are asking gamers to use caution while playing—the game has had an overall positive impact on historic houses and parks. People who may not have otherwise visited the sites are now exploring the area and learning about its past.
“People are showing up to capture Pokémon or find PokéStops and end up exploring stories of their Revolutionary neighbors and the beginning of our democracy,” Bodman said.
In just one week, roughly 100 additional visitors stopped by East Jersey Old Town Village in Piscataway to track down more Pokémon.
Officials expect to see more visitors at New Jersey’s historic sites throughout the summer, as more people travel in search for rare Pokémon.
For more information about Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area, including the full-list of Revolutionary War PokéStops, visit their website.