Etika mural becomes Pokemon Go spot in tribute to YouTuber
When the YouTuber died last year, aged 29, it sent shockwaves through the gaming community, with the term ‘Joyconboyz’ trending worldwide.
The phrase, coined by Etika in reference to the Nintendo Switch controllers known as Joy-Cons, trended again on Tuesday, but this time for a different reason.
The Nintendo fan had become part of a Nintendo game – Pokemon Go.
Pokemon Go is a popular mobile game where people catch virtual Pokemon by walking around in real life.
Now players in New York City will be encouraged to visit the Etika mural in Brooklyn which has become a ‘Pokestop’ – an in-game location which can be visited to receive bonus items.
Pokemon Go gamer Reversal, who has 363k subscribers on YouTube, called the Pokestop “the ultimate tribute” to Etika.
“It means an incredible amount to me as a person,” he told the BBC. “I’m so happy it’s there – I literally cried.
“He was a close friend of mine and I know he really loved Pokemon Go. It could add so much emotional value to people, I think it’s so important he’s part of the game.
“I think people will go to the mural today, spin the Pokestop and think wow, our friend is in the game.”
He said that the pair had met after becoming friends through YouTube and even made plans to meet again – though that never happened.
After the mural was revealed in November 2019, he began campaigning for it to become part of Pokemon Go.
“I went through an extremely difficult time when Desmond died,” he said. “It was everywhere online, it’s so surreal to find out through that sort of means.
“You think about the stuff you wish you said. When I saw the mural was being revealed, I thought it was really cool. We needed to make it a thing.
“I wanted to see it happen because I knew how happy that would make him.”
The mural was organised by DoubleA_Charged and Abe Hunter. It was created by muralist BK Foxx with graffiti artist Kesta, on a wall provided by JMZ Walls.
The inclusion of the Etika mural in Pokemon Go comes as good news at a time when his fans have been fighting a different battle altogether.
The YouTuber’s Twitter account has been suspended since 14 February 2019 – which fans believe is because of inactivity.
The BBC has approached Twitter for comment.