In the 1858 gold rush, Yale bustled with a population of about 30,000. That makes it bigger than any present-day city north of Kamloops, besides Prince George.
You wouldn’t know it from looking at what Yale is today.
But a new game from Mission-based game makers QuestUpon makes you realize this using the same technology that Pokemon Go uses.
The 29-mission quest entitled Historical Yale combines elements of augmented reality, history and geocaching, takes you on a walk around Yale, teaching you that Yale once had a Chinatown, jail and a Canadian Pacific Railway station.
“It brings history alive,” said Yale Historic Site general manager Deb Zervini. “One of the bonuses for us is we have a lot of tourists that come through, and because kids are all up on the tech nowadays, it gives us more of an interactive walking tour.”
The quest starts at the Yale Historic Site and takes you to the shore near Front Street, before looping back via Regent Street.
The approximately 1.3-kilometre route requires you to have proper walking shoes, especially when you go down to the shore.
In the midst, the game will ask you to answer trivia and presents historical photos of buildings when you walk to the correct spot.
“I actually like it, I think it’s going to add something totally different for Yale,” said Zervini.
As you go through the missions, you learn that Yale had a big fire in 1881, and camels were imported to help with shipping. Steamships also used the Fraser River as a mode of transportation.
“We look at the history of a community like Yale, and rather than have someone come into a museum and see, and learn, about the city, we want to take that experience to where it actually happened,” said QuestUpon CEO and founder Miles Marziani.
Marziani said QuestUpon does research and finds interesting stories about a location. They also used photos provided by the museum to create its augmented reality portion of the quest.
He said Yale “is abundant of stories and history.”
“It was actually the largest city west of Chicago and north of San Francisco at one point,” said Marziani.
The game is free for download off an app store.
QuestUpon also has a quest in Hope.