Exactly one month ago, on the afternoon of July 7th, Pokémon GO was released in the US. Not much has been the same since. On July 9th, VAM first tweeted about the phenomenon, and the next day we published a blog about it (we were the first museum service organization to do so!). We asked museums what they are observing at their sites. We’ve received many emails from that first blog, as well as engagement on social media. Indeed, over the last month, the game has been a hot topic in the museum community and beyond. The buzz around this crazy new application of augmented reality (AR) technology, married with a nostalgic video game, has not let up. It’s enough to make your Pokéball spin (you can get extra points by spinning that thing when you toss it, you know).
We at VAM are keeping tabs on Pokémon GO, since it has affected museum visitation – in terms of both visitor numbers and visitor demographics. While many museums are embracing the trend and inviting the new visitors it encourages into the fold, other museums (such as some war memorials and holocaust museums) have missions that are at odds with allowing a freewheeling video game being played at their sites.
So, whether you are prepping for your next “Pokémon GO After-Hours” event, or patrolling your gate after hours more vigilantly to deter trespassing – indeed, whatever the fallout has been for your site – we’d like to capture that data. We’ve created an extremely short, six-question survey for the Virginia museum community. Please take a moment to complete it today. We’ll keep everyone up to date on our findings! Thanks in advance.