Ah, summer 2016.
It is a summer to remember! The summer of hot, hot, hot, and no rain. And the summer of the new hit smartphone game: PokemonGo.
You’re probably thinking: “goodness, not more PokemonGo! Just stop talking about it!”
And there are some of you whom may have no idea what PokemonGo is. I’ve been doing a lot of reading, and I’m still not really sure what it is. I mean, I know it’s a phone app/game, but even as a millennial, who grew up in the 90s/early 00’s, I’m still not sure what/how/why it all works.
Here’s a neat note on how PokemonGo is causing a stir in museums.
Every time I hear about PokemonGo – which is at least 17 times a day for the last 4 or 5 days – I think back to my elementary school in a small country village about 30 minutes outside of Ottawa. I am driven back with such clarity to a group of me and my friends hanging out on the middle tree-line (shade!) in the hot, last, dwindling, days of June. I was the only one in my grade 4 (maybe grade 5) friend group who did not have Pokemon cards. I think some may have been donated to me, but they were never worth anything. I wasn’t really into it, and I more still, I wasn’t about to learn a new language.
But, the exciting thing that will make 2016 a summer to remember is the fact that (if I understand correctly) thousands, if not millions, of PokemonGo users MUST come to the Museum as soon as possible to ‘catch ’em all!’
So, to help our Poke-Friends, I’ve had one of our summer students screen-cap her activity (on her lunch break!) on PokemonGo and help me compile a few hints and tips about PokemonGo here at the Museum:
PokemonGo Tips, presented by the millennials of the St. Catharines Museum
1) We’re Open by Donation
We’re so glad you’re here, even if not really for us! Lucky for you, you don’t have to pay admission to get that pesky Bulbasaur. Nope! We’re open by donation. Running the Museum does cost a bit of money, so when you visit to play, don’t forget to make a donation, please and thank you!
2) We have Two PokeGyms.
I don’t know what this means, so here’s Jocelyn with an explanation:
“The museum features not one but TWO PokéGyms and PokéStops! Come train and stock up on items! #PokemonGO”
3) Please Be Respectful
As much as the world has been enveloped by this game, not everyone is playing and that includes our visitors who are here to get their culture fix. Please be respectful of others visiting our site. That way, everyone can have a nice experience while they are here.
4) There Are Other Things To Look At
I don’t want to call anyone out, but I definitely saw someone playing PokemonGo while on our viewing platform, while there was a ship in the lock. And, I mean, ya, the ship wasn’t really moving, but the few times I was able to take a peek at the platform, the guy was still staring the other direction at his phone.
There are other things to look at that are pretty cool including a 1905 Oldsmobile made in St. Catharines, and an award-winning exhibit about the Underground Railroad and escaping slaves on their search for, not Pokemon, but for freedom from slavery.
5) There Are Lots to Catch
We have a pretty big site, so there are lots to catch while you’re here!
Here’s Jocelyn again:
“Pidgeotto spotted out front of the museum; meanwhile Venonat seems to be enjoying our rooftop garden! Come and catch em’ all! #PokemonGO”
I’m still not 100% sure what’s happening.
But if you do, then awesome! Hopefully we’ll see you at the Museum very soon!
Happy hunting and ‘come and catch em’ all!’
Adrian Petry is a public historian and the Public Programmer at the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre