Okay, so I don’t get this whole Pokemon craze (which has caused law enforcement problems and people “walking aimlessly in circles while staring at their phones”), and as I jokingly pointed out today on my Facebook, it reminds me a bit too much of a certain Star Trek TNG episode. So what does this have to do with history? It seems that the Holocaust Museum in DC has had trouble with folks joyfully playing the game at their institution, and is trying to come up with ways to make it stop. Further, the National Park Service has seen an increase of visitors at solemn memorials gleefully chasing virtual creatures and wants to curb such activity.
On the brighter side, however, the NPS is happy to see an increase of visitors because of the game, hoping that it will lead folks to discover the real-world wonders and educational experiences around them when they are playing it:
I don’t know how long this fad will last, but it seems like a good idea to me that public history sites should jump on the chance to engage visitors that might not otherwise be there, and perhaps to develop their own versions of the game that are rooted in the history education mission of their particular sites. Instead of bemoaning the millennials that are playing this game (as well as the many others), let’s try to catch them with it.