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Pokemon Go

Pokémon Go

Pokemon Go

Almighty God,
who has gotta ‘catch us all’,
within the great Pokeball of your love.
Give us the power that’s inside,
so that we might not divert our eyes from the game map that you have set,
but instead, with Clefairy, Charmander and that electrocuted yellow rat thing,
come to the great PokeGym in the sky, where prestige points are infinite.

Amen

A friend, knowing my obsession with collects, sent me the above one. Thanks! It comes from the wonderful site Exciting Weariness, where The Visitation of a Pokemon Go Player is an Even Lesser Festival. Read more there.

Pokémon Go is certainly a huge phenomenon. If you invested heavily in Nintendo shares, you will know this. Or if you sell external batteries for phones. Or even newer phones. Or if you go for a walk anywhere.

How are churches responding? How is your church responding?

Some businesses are paying to lure Pokemon to their place.

Some churches have been surprised to find their Pokémon Go players turning up at their building because it is a gym in the game. Some churches are using their facilities as a Pokestop. There are church signs – I’m underwhelmed by the twee ones I’ve seen – around looking for Pokemon and Jesus, or Jesus loving players. Can you think of anything less inane? (“Jesus died to catch ’em all”).

How can churches be of service? Can you provide ways to recharge phone batteries free? In the Northern Hemisphere it is summer – there’s a lot of walking involved in the game – can you provide water to drink? Can we be aware of concerns with children and young people gathering in areas? What do we learn from those playing the game – race, culture, beliefs don’t seem to cause divisions between them? Are there sermon illustrations here (including about augmented reality)? Does your church building look welcoming to players? Is there attractive information about your church readily understandable to non-churchgoers? What else can you think of?

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image: this area in the park would normally be empty on a winter morning such as this.

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9 thoughts on “Pokémon Go”

  1. I’m waiting for them to turn the local hospital’s genito-urinary medicine clinic into a PokeStop!

    Gotta catch’em all, indeed…

    I’ve no axe to grind against the game philosophy in Pokemon Go. What I really don’t like is the fact that it gobbles user data willy-nilly, and that data appears not to be adequately protected against misuse – but on that I’m a lone voice crying in the wilderness right now.

    1. Yes, James. I’m not sure from your comment whether you mean racking up a huge data bill through using the game; or if you are referring to users signing away privacy of their personal information. Both seem to be issues. And in both you are certainly not a lone voice. Blessings.

  2. I have to wonder, however, at the integrity of churches offering services to Pokemon players that they then deny to people who are homeless – things like water stations, places to charge cell phones, and so on.

  3. I’m tempted to deploy a lure on the pokestop outside our church building about half an hour before the evening service (after which we serve a meal, always a good drawcard).

    Would be less distracting than the lure someone used halfway through the sermon last Sunday morning. (My daughter told me about it, I was not playing at the time myself.)

    1. I don’t know anything about these sort of details, Claudia. Not having played, I don’t know what a lure is – I’ve read about people paying to attract pokemon – there’s a link to that in my post. So can individuals lure pokemon? And do that for free? So you had pokemon in church? I wondered about that. Blessings.

  4. A “lure” can be attached to “pokestop” to attract pokemon to the vicinity. I got a couple free when i reached a certain levels, but additional ones can be bought with real world currency.
    A “Pokestop” is a location where you can collect supplies of items such as “pokeballs” to use in the game. There happens to be pokestops at a number of churches in the area, as well as parks and the local library. And the range at which one can catch the Pokémon means I can do so within a building… like at church, just not during a service!
    Normal human phone etiquette applies.
    I like that it’s a game played in the real world, not sitting at a computer. I’ve gone for walks with my daughter to hunt pokemon together. It’s a way to socialize and meet people too, like that group in your photo. It might look like they’re all just staring at their screens, but I’ve found when I come across other players we talk about the game, swap notes and tips, even compare which pokemon we’ve found.

    1. Thanks! Claudia. Yes – on my walks, I’ve also (though I’m not playing the game) stopped and chatted to people who are. Now here’s another parable: the difference between talking about a game and playing a game… Blessings.

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