Monday, August 22, 2016

Librarian Post True Tales of Library Programming #3: How to Host a Pokemon Go Gathering.

    Unless you have been living under a rock for the last two months or so, you have probably heard of the MASSIVELY popular Pokemon Go app which is available for both Iphones and Android devices. For those of you who are not too familiar with the game, the premise is simple - players can walk around their towns and capture cute little cartoon animals to try and collect all 150 different creatures. Certain landmarks in the community are "Pokestops" where players can collect supplies, or Gyms, where players can train their pets to make them stronger and claim bragging right for one of three in-game teams (Valor (red), Instinct (yellow) and Mystic (blue)). Since most libraries are either gyms or contain Pokestops, you should definitely consider offering some kind of Pokemon themed program.
   Do not assume this is a children's game. The vast majority of Pokemon Go players are adults in their 20's and 30's who grew up watching these cartoons. After all, they have been on air for 20 years now, and there is a great deal of nostalgia associated with this game for many of us. I in fact, am 36 and am, as of this writing, a level 15 member of team Mystic.

She totally looks exactly like me.

    As of this writing, my branch library has hosted 2 hugely successful Pokemon Go gatherings, so here is what we did to make the day special.

    First, my library contains 3 Pokestops, so we invested about $10 to buy enough Pokemon Coins in game to buy 6 "lures," modifications that actively attract a larger number of Pokemon to each stop. One lure lasts 30 minutes, so this gave us one hour of attraction time for each stop.
    Our first gathering was simply a social where people could meet and have fun. We made sure to have free bottles of cold water to hand out, because we are in Arizona and our typical summers are well into triple digit temperatures. (Luckily one of our 3 stops is actually inside the building). We also used our button maker to create team badges which were handed out on a first-come, first-served basis to anyone who asked for one. (If your library does not have a button maker, it is an AMAZING investment, you should try super hard to get one!)
Badges representing each team, and the unity team, for those who don't battle, or don't care to choose a team.
     For our second program, we chose to create a competition, to make it something a little bit different. We had 10 competition categories, which were:
1. Most number of Pokemon caught.
2. Highest CP catch (CP = combat points)
3. Highest HP catch (HP = hit points)
4. Largest Pokemon caught (for whomever caught the Pokemon with the highest weight)
5. Tiniest Rattata (lowest weight)
6. Fattest Pidgey (highest weight)
7. Most Geodudes
8. Most Pidgeys
9. Most Rattatas
10. Most Shandshrews
   We created small certificates and trophies for the winners.

 Here is what you need to make cool trophies of your own:

* Small white Styrofoam balls. You can buy these at any craft store in packs of 12. I made the mistake of using "rough" textured ones because I had them on hand already. They also come in a smooth texture that I think would have worked better. 
* Acrylic craft paint in red, white and black.
* Small paintbrushes (DO NOT use the foam kind, they will not work and make a huge mess).
* Gold spray paint.
*  Industrial glue, such as E6000.
For the bases, I used some empty spools from our register tape that we had laying around. 

My super neat and extremely carefully organized craft table. I know, you want to be me. 

First, I spray-painted the spools gold and let them dry thoroughly. 
Next, I painted one half of a ball red and let that dry. An ice cube tray works great for holding the balls and keeping them from rolling away while they dry.
Once the red is completely dry, paint a black line around the ball, and add a large black dot.
Make sure the black paint is COMPLETELY dry before adding a white dot in the center of the black dot. 
Once the balls are dry, glue them to the bases with E6000 and presto! Awesome trophies that people will love!

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