Benbrook Library / Musings

The Library: Come for the Pokemon, Stay for Everything Else

PokemonSign

We found this sign in the grass outside the library. They may very well soon become just as prominent as political yard signs.

In the week and a half since its release, Pokemon Go has engulfed the culture with the heat of a thousand Charizards. The augmented reality creature hunting game is a bona fide phenomenon, and so much has been said and written about it in its short existence that to write anything more already feels hackneyed. Naturally, I will now hack away.

I’m not personally in on the Poke-craze, so my opinions are those of a fascinated spectator. From what I can tell, most of the players my age are motivated by nostalgia, something that doesn’t sway me because I wasn’t swept up in Pokemon’s initial popularity boom in the mid ‘90s; I was highly aware of it, but I just never got into the TV show (I watched Animaniacs, The Simpsons, and sitcoms after school), the video games (I was more of a Legend of Zelda and Crash Bandicoot kind of guy), or the card game (I briefly played Magic: The Gathering and then nothing). So, while Pokemon Go doesn’t excite me personally, I can see the appeal. It has all the ingredients of an addictive game: collecting things, leveling up, team play, competition, escapism. Add the real world exploration element to all that, and the fact that the game makes it look like there are actually adorable, fantastical creatures on our bland, magic-less planet, and it’s easy to understand why we have hordes of Pokemon trainers roaming the streets and countryside.

As for the library, our unofficial position on Pokemon Go is “supportive.” We are an official gym location in the game, and we welcome you to stop by to hunt for Pokemon and/or battle for control of our gym. Like seemingly every other public space, we’ve been seeing players come through on their quests to catch ‘em all, and, as you can see from the sign pictured above, use our lawn for recruiting signs (we admire the enthusiasm and thank you for thinking of us as an effective place to attract new team members, but please, find other homes for your signs). The game seems to be great at getting people to visit places they otherwise wouldn’t, which is mostly a good thing, as long as you’re respectful while in those places. If it takes tracking down an Eevee to get you into the library, we’re cool with that. So, if you’re one of the few remaining people on Earth who hasn’t yet downloaded the game, do so if you’re into it (but be mindful of the access and privacy terms that you’re agreeing to upon instillation), go exploring (but don’t blindly follow your GPS, lest you end up like these guys), and find out which creatures the library and other hip institutions may be harboring. While you’re here, or anywhere else, be sure to peel your eyes away from your screen for a moment to check out the other sights, attractions, and services available to enjoy, some of which may be almost as cool as virtual Pokemon. Almost…

If you’re planning to go out and about playing Pokemon Go this weekend in DFW, here’s a list of events and places you may want to hit up.

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