The Pokémon GO development team, Niantic, has started an initiative in Japan to advocate for blood donations. This is one of the latest programs for a good cause that the company has championed within the last couple years. Niantic actually started their contribution to help the need for blood donations back in 2014 with their other AR mobile game Ingress. The Pokémon GO website put out an article earlier in the week detailing how they would be collaborating with the Japanese Red Cross Society. You can read the message addressed to all avid Pokémon trainers below.
“From Wednesday, March 23, each blood donation room (excluding some rooms) in the Kanto Koshinetsu block will appear in the game as a new “Pokestop” for “Pokémon GO“! At “Pokestop”, you can get various tools such as monster balls for catching Pokémon…By introducing the blood donation room in the Kanto Koshinetsu region as a “Pokestop” in the game, we hope that more people will enjoy “Pokémon GO” and cooperate in blood donation. The blood donation room “Pokestop” that appears in the game is an image of the egg Pokémon “Lucky.” The gifts you can get are also specially designed, so please enjoy them.”
Players in the area can go to the Japanese Red Crosses’ site to see a list of over 40 target rooms. To, “avoid crowding the venue and to shorten the waiting time,” for blood donating players the Red Cross is asking for reservations to be made in advance. According to Eurogamer, there is no set end date for the promotion nor any details about expanding to other countries.
Everyone has probably heard of blood drives and donations, but everyone might not know why they are needed. According to the American Red Cross, “Every day, blood donors help patients of all ages…In fact, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.” From patients with conditions such as cancer and sickle cell anemia to those suffering from burn and traumatic injuries, blood donations contribute to, “lifesaving care.”