After a weekend of random iphone incidents with Museum guests wandering seemingly aimlessly and blindly through the Museum without lifting eyes to the stunning displays, I had promised myself to expostulate the merits of PokemonGo here in our blog.
Those of you unfamiliar with the term PokemonGo, it is a game you download to your phone, based on the ever popular classic role playing game developed in Japan in 1996. * http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/History_of_Pok%C3%A9mon
This new version is an interactive, location based reality game played on your phone.
Here in the Museum, our first big rush of players happened on Wednesday, July 27th. The day of the Sublime w/ Rome, Dirty Heads, Tribal Seeds and Bleeker Concert. 4 bands in one night all here early in the day to enjoy Ironstone and play PokemonGo.
Between the bands and the stage crews, we had a constant flow of iphone engrossed figures checking into the Pokestops to stock up.
When I inquired as to what in heaven's name were they doing, I was deluged with excited exclamations of the importance of Ironstone, the variety of pokestops and the existence of two towers right here at Ironstone! What?!? But don't you know it's NOT REAL! Look at the 44 pound gold piece! Check out the meteorite slabs, how about that prehistoric cave bear? LOOK UP!
Throughout the next few weeks, we witnessed a growing number of visitors with eyes glued to their phones. My immediate reaction was to clear all below eye level displays and post bright colored signs in attempts to avoid head on collisions with static posts and walls. This is ridiculous! I have to write something! I kept muttering under my breath, "but it's not REAL, can't they see that?", "Oh Wait, no they can't cause its not on the screen!".
With a sigh of relief, most did take a moment up from the phone to examine the gold. Some even wandered through the store and checked out some of the art and jewelry. Take a deep breath ...
Then came the first bend in my thought process... a family trio came in to the Museum, father, son and grandfather. Father & son were glued to their respective phones while grandfather browsed through the museum and shop. I approached him in my anti-pokemon mode, and asked if the other two were going to stop and look up. His reply was "eventually ... want to know something?"
Without waiting for my replay, he continued with a story of a household of strangers, father in front of a TV or off with friends and a son in his room on his computer with friends. Both in their own worlds, very much apart. Then along came PokemonGo...
Grandfather explained to me how the game has brought them together into the same world. They now travel, the three of them, to places he never imagined they would visit, conferring on their captures, the sights they see and the fun they are having.
Time to start my research ...