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Pokemon GO to the Museum

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A gamer I am not, but a Pokémon trainer I am.

The one and only gaming console I have ever owned was a hot pink Game Boy Color, sold at Costco in the Christmas of 1998 with Pokémon Red.  Eventually I would buy a whole three other games, but that first game with all of its adorable and monstrous critters has always held a special place in my heart as my only genuine link to the gaming world in which so many of my friends are immersed. And now as you all can’t help but know (despite possibly trying), that fictional world has become a reality.

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There have already been countless reports of trainers motivated by the game to go outside for the first time in their adult lives, and as a result finding newfound connections with their communities. The connection that I naturally find most endearing is the rediscovery of public art and museums. That’s right, after years of countless scavenger hunts, cocktail nights, and free admission days museums have finally found a way to get the diverse youth demographic through their doors, or at least outside of them. Check out some of the museums smart enough to jump on the trend and trainers artsy enough to catch amongst their collections:

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Pikachu in his element (get it?) at Crystal Bridges

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Wild Spearows have appeared all over The Art Institute of Chicago !

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The Bass Museum of Art in Miami is home to Duduos and a history of art forgeries.

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The Minneapolis Institute of Art where you can catch em’ all with a side of Carcass of Beef.

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LACMA; you might find rock Pokémon but you’ll definitely find giant rocks.

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Meet your favorite Pokémon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art!

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The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago promises not to cramp your catches.

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The Detroit Institute of Arts where Pokémon battles are the stuff of Fuseli’s Nightmares.

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Honolulu Museum of Art, the cleverest of ‘em all, pairs Pokémon names with their painter counterparts.


Whether people are looking at the art or just their phones has yet to be seen. But like trainers treading into the tall grass, the above photos represent the art museum’s first step to catching that rare specimen: new museum members.

By: Sarah Oesterling

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Sarah Oesterling

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