Pokemon GO players from New York City discover that Trump Tower, the skyscraper owned by current Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, is a gym in the game.
In the world of Pokemon GO, players are encouraged to walk around their cities to find wild Pokemon, and stop at various landmarks to collect items (PokeStops) or battle gym leaders. A large area like New York City has plenty of PokeStops and gyms available, with players discovering that even Trump Tower functions as a gym in the game.
Pokemon GO players are free to visit Trump Tower, the massive skyscraper owned by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, and battle whatever Pokemon has been left to defend it to claim the gym as their own. With Donald Trump and his political campaign dominating national headlines on a daily basis, we imagine that Trump Tower is going to be a hotly contested gym, so Pokemon GO players should be sure to catch some high level Pokemon before attempting to take it over.
Pokemon GO‘s inclusion of Trump Tower as a gym is just the latest video game-related appearance from the controversial presidential candidate. For example, a Surgeon Simulator expansion allows players to perform surgical operations on Donald Trump, and a fan threw together a Trump propaganda video using footage from Mass Effect 2.
EA ended up pulling the Trump propaganda video, stating that its IP shouldn’t be used in political campaigns. While Pokemon GO‘s use of Trump Tower as a gym may not be directly advertising Trump’s political campaign, it will still bring additional attention to the presidential candidate nevertheless. Perhaps, in that light, developer Niantic should consider moving the Trump Tower gym to a different New York City skyscraper that is not associated with a political figure, especially one as controversial as Trump.
Considering Trump’s divisive political campaign, it is surprising that developer Niantic made Trump Tower a gym in the first place. It seems like most gaming companies would want to avoid its games being associated with any political candidate, as that could potentially alienate some of its fan base with dissenting political views.
Political implications aside, Niantic has largely avoided commercial landmarks when assigning PokeStops and gyms so far, making Trump Tower an exception to the norm in that regard as well. There are a few other exceptions (malls are popular locations for gyms), but players should mostly expect to find PokeStops and gyms assigned to neutral public locations, such as fire stations, churches, and libraries, so it’s odd that Trump Tower functions as anything in the augmented reality game – let alone something that will be visited as frequently as a gym.
Pokemon GO is available now for iOS and Android mobile devices.
Source: Comic Book