Some churches condemned Pokemon as "the work of the devil" when the popular gaming franchise first came over to the United States. Twenty years later, Pokemon GO fans are sending their players back to church. Several Pokemon GO players have noticed that many of the PokeStops and Gyms in Pokemon GO are linked to real life churches, drawing some humorous comments from different corners of the Internet.
When people are glad to see you back at church but you're just here to catch Mewtwo on Pokemon Go. pic.twitter.com/G0SKXWYeQk— Team YP (@TeamYPOfficial) July 7, 2016
My first two pokestops on Pokemon Go were at a church and thought God was telling me something. Then my 3rd was KFC and I knew he was right— Jared Smith (@_jaredsmith13) July 7, 2016
So why are churches a popular Pokemon GO destination? Blame the players of Ingress, Niantic Labs' other augmented reality mobile device. Ingress players submitted various landmarks and place of interest to use as Portals to capture for their game. When developing Pokemon GO, Niantic converted the Portals to PokeStops and gyms, leading to the plethora of Gyms specializing in Religious Type Pokemon.
Likely, the churches were originally chosen because they're big, obvious places in local communities located on main roads. Just don't expect Arceus (the Pokemon creator of the universe) to appear at a church anytime soon.
Pokemon GO is available for download in the US, Australia and New Zealand.