Question of the Week: 7/25-7/31/16


Do you think a fad like “Pokémon Go” is helpful or harmful to historical sites?

(“Pokémon Go” is a newly released mobile game where players go looking for Pokémon on their phone, but in real world locations. Many parks and museums are hotspots in the game, but were not consulted or asked if they wanted to be included.)

9 Responses to Question of the Week: 7/25-7/31/16

  1. Pokéman Go is just fun, and it gets people outside, moving, talking, sharing, interacting, We haven’t seen this in a long time, and I think it is good! The Pokéman folks have been very cooperative about removing their critters from Auschwitz, Arlington, etc., which was something probably not considered in the initial rollout. Perhaps the designers did not know how successful it would be (I get this from the latest Comic-Con interviews), and so fumbled there as well.

    But geez–nothing like this has ever been tried. It is world-wide, and it gets folks out & about, and into places they might not normally choose to go.I think folks should stop getting all self-righteous and just enjoy the fun. One image I got on Facebook the other day was from a friend who has a summer job at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I don’t know much about Pokémon, but apparently there are aquatic ones, and these are the ones that have been showing up at that site. In places where there have been thunderstorms, the creatures are more electrical in nature.

    If a museum or site has issues, apparently the Pokémon folks are very cooperative and remove the images. I think it may be more productive to go outside looking for little cartoon characters than to be stuck inside, glued to the TV, watching the conventions & the Olympics all summer. And geez–because fun!

    1. “I think folks should stop getting all self-righteous and just enjoy the fun.”
      Well, let’s strike a little bit of a balance here. Unfortunately it also gets people literally walking into traffic/other people, off of cliffs, into bathroom stalls, etc. Sometimes it’s okay to put the electronic toys and the virtual reality games away for a little bit.

      1. I think they tend to do this anyway. I think the number of dead bodies found is interesting. There have been at least three that I know of, but I haven’t followed this in a week or so. It is just a “thing,” I think–like hula hoops. I can recall several instances where people fell off cliffs trying to get a photo of something–I think one man murdered his wife & then said she fell off the mountain trying to get an image. It’s summer, it’s hot, and, apparently, it is what some folks are doing. I am inside trying to finish a book–lol!

      2. In all honesty, I represent municipalities and have several police departments who have had to deal with multiple incidents ranging from the negligently unsafe to nearly deadly. But “you’re only 35 once…”

  2. I am a curmudgeon. I do not like to see battlefields used for picnics, 5K or 10K or any other races. I do not like to see them used for bike riding merely for exercise or for jogging trails. To me these are sacred places and should be treated with respect.

    1. You would have really wigged out the time I saw the Hanover High Cheerleading Squad taking a picture of them in a pyramid on top of the big rock at Devil’s Den. When I asked what in the wide wide world of sports they were doing, they said, “It’s our annual fundraising calendar.”

  3. A day spent trying to learn, study, and honor the park beside the Marine Corps Museum with its many monuments and memorials was spoiled for me recently as I spent much time cleaning up trash left behind by hordes of Pokemoners that literally bumped into me while I attempted to photograph the monuments most dear to me. I left vowing to return after this fad fades. I even began writing a piece in my head denouncing these gamers and the decision allowing them full access to our national treasures. Since then though, after making a concerted effort repeatedly to engage these folks transfixed by their mobile devices, on the local battlefields and especially @ Ellwood Manor, I found a mixture of folks with no interest in history and others that felt they had to show some interest in the Parks and were receptive to exploring and learning about the history. Many only needed slight prodding to become engaged with the history while they enjoyed their recreation.
    The more I asked people about their intentions or purpose of their visits, the more I found that could be engaged. It took some effort and enduring many “punks” that basically told me to “get lost” in more modern terms, but my overall impression now is that it will bring many to their first park experience and that must have been the goal.
    What remains to be seen is the cost of repairing damages and cleanup and if this cost on underfunded infra structure and maintenance and whether that cost outweighs the benefit of new patrons.

  4. So sorry about the trash–even with all we try to do, and as much as we remind ourselves and others, humans leave trash. Thanks for interacting with the players. That is so positive! The Civil War Museum in Kenosha put up a sign welcoming Pokémoners. I was there when all this “broke” and the museum folks were scurrying to find a solution before anything became a “problem,” which I thought was great. Too bad there are no Civil War-themed icons. How cool to have one appear in a museum scenario! It could not be collected until you interacted with it, and could give back at least one piece of information. (I need to get out more!).

  5. i agree with mr Bradley. now just add to this list bike week in gettysburg. took some friends there to tour and did not realize it was this week end .
    finally gave up and went home

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