Baby Face Photography Loves Poke’mon GO!
The list of things I never thought I’d hear myself say has grown exponentially for me since I became a parent. Unfortunately, “Tommy! Help! There is a Bulbasaur in my bed“, can’t be blamed on either of them.
Thursday morning I saw a Facebook post about the new Poke’mon GO phone app, and thought I should check it out so I could keep up my end of the conversation with my tween clients. A few minutes later I was completely in over my head. I was literally looking at a Bulbasaur in my bed and I had no idea what to do about it. Naturally I called out to Tommy who has unknowingly been training for this very moment since he was 5 years old. My 22 year old son woke from a dead sleep, assessed the situation, grabbed my phone, threw a Poke’ball at the monster to capture it and laughed. When he woke up again a few hours later, he downloaded the app and took his sister out to hunt for more.
You read that right. My 20 and 22 year old children willingly went for a walk around the neighborhood together. My daughter Katie was unimpressed. She has Down Syndrome and has been obsessing over Frozen for the past 2 years. If only we were capturing handsome Princes (nudge, nudge Disney). Tommy and I have gone for neighborhood walks together every day since downloading the app. I actually spent Friday night hunting Poke’mon with Tommy and a few of his friends. I KNOW! It was so weird. They actually invited me to come. We were even spotted and interviewed by the Frederick News Post while we were out.
It’s no secret that I am completely anti-video game. I think they have hindered our children’s creativity, fitness and social skills. Poke’mon GO has changed all that. In the game, your character walks around in the world you are actually walking around in. GPS is used to track your location and the game moves as you move. When you run into a wild Poke’mon, you “catch” it with your phone and it appears in your immediate environment. This is how the Bulbasaur actually appeared as if it was in my bed. Sure, this is great fun, but that’s not even close to the coolest part of the game, in my opinion.
There are power up stops called Poke’ Stops that replenish your Poke’ball supply and give you other goodies to help you advance in the game. They are located near parks, restaurants, playgrounds and historical landmarks; and spaced out far enough to make for a pleasant and lucrative walk. Poke’stops replenish every 5 minutes, encouraging you to walk between the stops again and again. Sometimes the Poke’stop will give you an egg. Eggs come in 2km, 5km and 10km sizes. The larger the egg is, the better the hatched Poke’mon will be. The eggs are placed in incubators and will only hatch once the GPS determines that your character has walked the specified distance required by the egg. There is a speed limit built into the game, so driving around will not hatch your egg (unless you drive like Mr. Magoo).
My favorite thing about the game is the social aspect of it. It has become common place to see groups of people walking around parks, phone in hand, playing the game. It’s completely normal to ask a perfect stranger if they have seen the Doduo that you have been tracking, or what their most powerful Poke’mon is. There is also a feature that allows you to put a Lure Module in a Poke’stop that will show up on the maps of everyone in the vicinity, and attract both wild Poke’mon and Poke’mon Go players to that location for 30 minutes. Everyone within in a few yards of a lured Poke’stop can benefit from it. The parks are filled with people young and old sitting around shady Poke’stops talking to each other face to face.
It’s a new world out there, and Baby Face Photography is a part of it. The potential to encourage my little Poke’mon GO playing clients to bring their A game on picture day has not been lost on me. There are 5 Poke’stops and 2 gyms within walking distance of Baby Face Photography. I have made a map of them all to share with my most cooperative customers, as a thank you, reward, bribe (call it what you like). I think we are all on the same page, when it comes to picture day. Everyone that laughs and has fun with their photo shoot wins the map. I’ll even escort them to the secret and pretty tough to find Abandoned Tree House Poke’stop. There is actually a ladder to what probably used to be a tree house in the woods behind the studio. I had no idea that was there, but apparently the Poke’people were on it.
It never occurred to me that I should be paying attention to the endless chatter of 5 year old Tommy talking about the “sparkly” poke’mon cards, or video games and which attacks are more effective on which Poke’mon. It’s crazy that such useless information has become something that I am interested in, and 17 years later we are still walking to the playground together talking about Poke’mon. I encourage you to install the game on your phone and play it with your children. It doesn’t need to be a reason to purchase a cell phone for children who aren’t old enough for the responsibility. It’s entirely possible to make it a family game. Take a drive down to Baker Park after dinner, hand the phone to your children and watch them walk together and strategize. I bet when they finish the first loop, they will want to do it again.