Pokemon Go

July 15, 2016

So, last night when Peter picked me up at the Sac airport, I asked him about this Pokemon Go thing. Jim had mentioned that Peter, Solly and Ray–and a few hundred others–gathered at Central Park late on Tuesday and Wednesday nights (and into the wee hours of each morning) to play.

As I understand it, it’s an interactive game, maybe a cross between geocaching and World of Warcraft, where you hunt down characters (in this case Pokemon characters), which–once you’ve downloaded the app–appear real time/real place on your phone. Maybe you claim landmarks as your own. That said, I have no idea what any of that means, nor if that’s an accurate description. Best I can do, though, given complete ignorance about these things. Not hostile, just aged out. I’m sure it’s cool, but wow, it’s not my thing.

More than ever, I find myself wanting to move to some remote fjord and live out my days tending a small garden, cooking simple food, watching the sun rise and set, hiking in the mountains, reading, writing and listening to folk music. With Jim. And no Trump news. And Peter will have a place next door and will visit often with his own loving family in-between his generation-appropriate rich life of stimulating work and travel. Thankyouverymuch.

Back to their weird world…our new world, it would seem.

Here are some shots taken tonight while walking home from the movies.. these guys look college age:


And here’s another band of youth, this one more junior-high-looking, in front of Burgers and Brew:


Central Park seems to be some kind of a gathering cell. And it seems to intensify at night and in the wee hours. I know Compassion Corner now factors into the game locally.

Here is what David said this morning:

… I’ve noticed groups of young people gathering within various proximities of the corner, looking down at their smartphones. I wondered why, coming to discover the new phenomenon Pokemon GO.

Today, a young man sat down, staring at his phone, tapping away. I asked him about why people were specifically coming to the bench. He said that the Compassion Corner Earthbench was one of the structures in the game. That it is the most contested public structure in Davis that people are trying to claim. That, at any given time of the day, about twenty people are within range of the bench “fighting” over its ownership. He said that it’s called “The Compassion Bench” in the game and asked me if I’d like for him to call it a different name. I requested he refer to it as the Compassion Corner Earthbench in respect of Brennan Blazer Bird’s Earthbench efforts.

We sat for a while talking. He explained how the game got “a nerd like me” out of the house. I told him about the history of the bench. I offered him the notebook to write his concept and he did. He shared a very sincere, sentimental “thank you” for creating the space for compassion at the corner….


At 2:00am, long after we’d gone to bed, a text came in from Peter:

Leaving for like 10 minutes. It’s Pokemon Go related. 

I’m wondering what this is … passing fad or paradigm-shifting trend?  Something in-between or something else entirely?

Memes already circulating on Facebook. Here is a funny: