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July 13, 2016

Fairvilla Finds Itself a Part of the Pokemon Go Craze

ORLANDO—Had it not been for a cheesy mural of a river painted on the outside brick wall of Fairvilla’s Sexy Things, Nikki Mier admits she might not know too much about Pokemon Go. “It started here over the weekend, when some of the employees started mentioning they were playing Pokemon Go,” said Nikki Mier, manager of Fairvilla’s Sexy Things in Orlando. “Then on Sunday, one of our employees came in and said, ‘Did you know our store is a Poke Stop?’” Pokemon Go is a location-based augmented-reality game developed by Niantic and played on smart phones. The app launched worldwide on July 6 and is a new variation of the popular card-turned-video game-turned-media franchise that was big in the mid-1990s. The franchise centers on fictional creatures called “Pokemon” that humans can catch and train to battle one another. With Pokemon Go, players download the app, which uses GPS and camera functions to allows users to search for virtual creatures in the area. Poke Stops tend to feature the creatures as well as some level of real-world interest, while Poke Gyms are areas where players can join one of three teams (red, blue or yellow) and battle members of other teams. Confused? So was Mier. “When they started talking about it, I laughed and said, ‘Pokemon … it sounds kinda like poke your man,’” she told AVN. The discussion, she added, led to staffers creating a display of strap-ons and pegging products. “It’s am impact display at the front of the store,” she said. “Some people have come in and just said, ‘Oh! Strap-ons!’ while others said, ‘Poke Your Man … I get it!’” But Mier said it soon became clear what it meant to be a Poke Stop when an employee opened the app and pointed out a “Pidgetto” and other creatures could be captured inside the store. For the past several days, people—many in their 20s and 30s, Mier said—have been coming to the adult boutique to search for the creatures. In some cases, it has actually translated into sales of lingerie and other items, she said.  “I couldn’t understand why we were chosen as a Poke Stop,” Mier said. “It wasn’t anything we sought out or signed up for. But I found out the Fairvilla Megastore [the chain’s flagship store] was a Poke Gym for a few days, as well as the strip club next door.” Mier believes it wasn’t about what’s inside the store that led to Fairvilla’s designation as a Poke Stop, but perhaps what’s outside that influenced the choice. “We have this old-school mural outside of a tiger that we have talked about painting over for years,” she said. “When you open the app near the store, it mentions the Poke Stop by naming it ‘Tiger Mural.’ I’m guessing that’s why it was picked. Whatever the reason, everyone has been really nice and we haven't had any problems or anyone complaining about being in an adult boutique.” One explanation could be that developer Niantic previously released a real-world exploration game called Ingress, where players’ location data was used in order to point them toward landmarks to visit, or “cool” places in cities worldwide. Strange as it may seem that an adult boutique might be included in a game that is being played by people of all ages all over the world, it turns out Fairvilla is not unique: other Poke Stops include specific grave sites in several cemeteries, a Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in New Zealand, the 9/11 Memorial Pool at Ground Zero in New York and the Auschwitz Memorial in Poland.

 
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