What is Pokémon GO?
Just in case you made it through the weekend without hearing about it, Pokémon GO was all the craze. The Wikipedia article provides a pretty good explanation of what it is. If you saw people wandering around pointing their IOS or Android Smartphones at things, there is a good chance they were playing the game.
Is your library a PokéStop or does it have a Gym?
PokéStops and Gyms are two of the things that people are looking for when playing as they help progress the game. The game integrates with the phone's GPS and you have to physically walk around so your avatar can locate them, and also Pokemon to capture. PokéStops and Gyms are often located near churches, bus stops, public monuments and LIBRARIES! The foundation for this game is Ingress which you can read about in the Tech Bits post "Your Library Is a Portal." Libraries are already capitalizing on this.
- It is a topic on reddit
- Someone at the New York Public Library has blogged about playing the game there
- Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Facebook post
- American Libraries post
Some suggestions for libraries are:
- Find out if your library is a PokéStop or has a Gym (by downloading and playing the game)
- Post on social media and your web site if your library is a PokéStop or Gym
- Create a Pokémon book and media display
- Organize Pokémon GO hunting expeditions (it's more fun to play in groups)
At the South Central Library System office, we don't have a PokéStop, but the Wisconsin Library Association does (image above)!
What's great about it?
Not only is this game a great opportunity to promote your library, but it is an opportunity for socializing and bridging generation gaps. I played the game along with some of my young adult children this weekend. I don't know much about Pokémon but they grew up with it. Still, I had a lot of fun playing with them and having them explain it to me. The best thing is that it gets you outside and walking around. Here is a link to the Pokémon GO YouTube video that illustrates this. But make sure you don't follow the example of my stepson and me this weekend--this is what it looks like in real life.