After fans lobbied for it, the memorial mural of Desmond Amofah, also known at the YouTuber Etika, has become a PokéStop in Pokémon Go.
On June 19th of last year, Desmond Amofah, a popular YouTuber with an enthusiasm for Nintendo games, died by suicide. Since then, his fans, dubbed the Joycon Boyz, have tried to turn their grief into a celebration of Amofah's impact on their lives. Fans of Amofah raised money for a mural to be painted in Amofah's honor on Myrtle Avenue, and also raised $11,000 towards a mental health charity. The mural has since become a symbol to Amofah's fanbase of his enduring influence, with fans from around the world leaving reviews on its Google Maps location saying that they hope to visit it.
A friend of Amofah in the Pokémon Go community who goes by Reversal had been campaigning for the mural to be added to Pokémon Go since the mural went up in November of last year, because he lives in the Netherlands and has not been able to see the mural in person.
Initially Reversal was unsuccessful, but when Pokémon Go developer Niantic started the "Niantic Wayfarer" program, fans of Amofah were able to band together to have the mural recognized as a stop. Through the Wayfarer program, Pokémon Go players who are level 40 or higher can submit real world location to be considered as PokéStops in the game.
"I do not know exactly how many players went to the location but it's safe to say there's definitely a handful of people within the Pokémon Go NYC Community who submitted the Etika Mural," Reversal said over Twitter DMs. "Finally yesterday it was officially added to Pokémon Go as a PokéStop."
When Reversal started seeing screenshots of the mural in Pokémon Go, he said that he was almost moved to tears.
"I knew how much this would have meant to Desmond since he loved Pokémon GO," Reversal said. "Knowing Desmond's fanbase it would be mean so much to everyone to have this included in the game, especially since Pokémon Go is a companion app that people use on their day-to-day lives including the Joycon Boyz."
Reversal said that he thinks it would be awesome to send or receive a gift from this PokéStop. It's just another way for the Joycon Boyz to keep Amofah's legacy alive.