At a time when racial tension seems to be dividing the country this summer, the video game “Pokemon Go” has been doing the opposite.

At a time when racial tension seems to be dividing the country this summer, the video game “Pokemon Go” has been doing the opposite.

One example came last Thursday night. It was after 10 p.m. and more than 100 gamers from varying ethnicities were gathered outside of Legislative Hall in Dover.

The vibe felt like a party as mostly late-teens and 20-somethings were guzzling tea and jamming to music on their portable stereos, while the mobile game “Pokemon Go” was at the center of attention.

A generous, but random, gamer was even walking around with a box of half-eaten pepperoni pizza to share with someone.

“It’s just bringing everybody together – all shapes, sizes, races,” said Nick Dolph, 22, of Dover, who has gamed at Leg Hall multiple times since “Pokemon Go” dropped July 6.

“Everybody is just friendly, trying to catch Pokemon.”

Cops embrace ‘Pokemon’ 

Leg Hall has been a popular hangout among gamers in Dover lately because the site has been designated as a gym, a location for players to battle their monsters against each other.

The Dover landmark is also a PokeStop, a place where players can collect digital supplies for their Pokemon or “pocket monsters.”

“A cop pulled over to make a PokeStop,” said Brittany Rieger of Felton, who saw this while playing the game at Leg Hall last Wednesday. “Every night I see at least one police car there.”

Another officer with the Dover Police Department gained cool points for blaring the “Pokemon” theme song in a cruiser at 11:03 p.m. at Leg Hall, Thursday.

“A lot of people think they’re bad guys, but he didn’t seem like a bad guy to me,” Smyrna resident Justin Smith said about the cop.

Becoming a real trainer

“Pokemon Go” immediately became a worldwide sensation when it was released earlier this month as a free app. The game is based on the hit TV show, “Pokemon.”

“Pokemon Go” is unique because it tasks gamers with literally going outdoors to find monsters.

For diehards, this game offers the closest experience to feeling like a real Pokemon trainer.

“It was kind of one of those things where you've always wanted to be a Pokemon trainer since you were little," said Cee Barbour, 21, of Middletown.

“A few co-workers and myself kind of grew up with it, so we’re like, oh my gosh, ‘Pokemon!’” said Barbour, a senior and neuroscience major at the University of Delaware.

Finding monsters

In the game, Pokemon typically can be found near their natural habitat. For instance, water-based creatures like Squirtle will likely be near aquatic locations.

But creatures aren’t limited to just being found outdoors. And sometimes they’ll be located in odd places, which Luis Andres Valdez recently discovered.

“I went to Touch of Italy in Lewes and there was a Pokemon in that restaurant,” the Milford gamer said. “I caught it and the people there knew exactly what I was doing.”

Barbour ran into a similar situation.

“In my own bedroom I've found water Pokemon,” she said.

Niantic is the company responsible for assigning Pokemon to their real-world locations. The company is no stranger to geo-mapping in games, since they did this with their mobile game “Ingress” in 2013.

Players from “Ingress” are responsible for helping create the data pool that determines where PokeStops and gyms appear in “Pokemon Go,” according to, who interviewed Niantic founder John Hanke.

Niantic formed a beginning pool of portal locations for the game based on historical markers, along with a data set of public artwork mined from geo-tagged photos on Google.

The “Ingress” team asked “Ingress” players to submit places they thought were worthy of being portals. Out of 15 million submissions, the team selected 5 million worldwide, reported. This data became the starting point for “Pokemon Go.”

Why so popular?

“Pokemon Go” is a once in a lifetime opportunity for gamers, especially adults, who grew up with the TV show.

“It's every '90s-baby's dream come true,” said 24-year-old Andres Valdez. “We all played with the trading cards and watched the TV show when we were little and we all wished something like that could actually happen.”

YouTube personality Daquan Wiltshire shared the same sentiment.

“Everybody gets the chance to get out of the house and do something and experience catching Pokemon in real life like we’ve always wanted to do,” said Wiltshire, 27, of Virginia.

Wiltshire, known for posting comedic skits on his channel, made a video about “Pokemon Go” that went viral on YouTube and Facebook, with the latter generating more than 10 million hits.

His new video, titled “For everyone who thinks we're immature for playing Pokemon Go,” is a rant where Wiltshire is firing back at critics who think adults are too old to play “Pokemon.”

“I loved it because I've gone viral plenty of times,” Wiltshire said. “But I’ve been busy lately, doing music videos for other people and I haven’t had the chance to focus on comedy or do my own videos, so it felt good to make another one."

His message to fellow adult gamers getting scrutinized for playing “Pokemon Go” is they “shouldn’t care what they think of them, because it's just a game.”

‘It's uniting people’

“Pokemon Go” is a temporary escape from the harsh reality of what’s been taking place around the nation this July.

Several new videos are circulating around social media of black men getting shot and killed by white cops, as well as cops getting shot and killed by rogues.

“It's uniting people,” Wiltshire said about “Pokemon.” “It’s something positive rather than everything negative going on right now."