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Spotting Pokemon Goers in Lanark County

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holding phone with Pokemon Go app

Spotting Pokemon Goers in Lanark County

In the last few days, I went to two picnics in parks. The first one was at Mill Pond in Richmond Hill (near Toronto), and the second was yesterday in Stewart Park in Perth. Both times, I was faced with some strange behaviour and it took me a couple of minutes to understand what was going on…

The first time, I was sitting on a bench waiting for my nephew and niece when I saw a couple walking by, looking at their phone. Nothing too strange so far. But then, a couple of minutes later, they walked back, still staring at their phone. They stopped, exchanged a few sentences, still staring at their phone, and walked again. They kept coming back and forth, staring at their phone and exchanging a few words every once in a while. Pokemon Goers! :) It took me a few minutes to understand. But then, I started noticing more and more of them. Actually, at that very spot, they may have outnumbered the people just enjoying the park! I even saw a guy dangerously riding his bicycle, holding the handlebar with one hand and his phone with the other. I thought, wow! Toronto is really a crazy place! ;)

Then, yesterday, as I was waiting for the Transition Perth community potluck to start in Stewart Park, I had pretty much the same experience again. This time, I first noticed a woman with a young boy, walking side by side, staring at their phone; they were kind of pacing around. There was another family playing ball not far off. The man threw the ball towards a boy with a phone. The boy was surprised, sent the ball back, went straight back to his phone and changed direction, probably to let the man know he was too busy to play ball… Again, I started looking around and noticed more people staring at their phones and walking around. They were walking around as if they were looking at a compass in their phone.

I find the whole thing pretty amusing and sad at the same time. The Urban Dictionary defines Pokemon Goers and states that “You can easily identify these people as they walk through public places in a awkward fashion while looking at their phone. Many Pokemon Goers live in denial that the app may interfere in their social life. In extreme cases this app will influence their life decisions and daily routine.”

So, I started to wonder if we could create a game around these unaware individuals! A more social game. We could get together with a few friends, try to spot some Pokemon Goers in Lanark County and create some kind of performance or happening around their behaviour. Maybe surround them with a banner or make strange sounds and see how long it would take them to notice… If you have seen them too, or have made a game around Pokemon Goers, please share your ideas here and links to your videos and/or images. :) Tell us the location too. But, PLEASE, nothing mean, offending, dangerous or (too) embarrassing. Only pure fun and creativity.

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