After Nearly 20 Years, My Boys Still Collect and Play
Pokémon GO Lure Party at the Zoo
A Clefairy was spotted at the Magnum Desert at the North Carolina Zoo.
Image courtesy of the North Carolina Zoo
Pokémon are being spotted just about everywhere these days. Apparently, our streets, parks, stores, malls, libraries, museums and zoos have all been invaded by creatures that once lived on trading cards my kids used to collect nearly two decades ago. I used to think if my boys kept their cards in pristine condition, we could sell them to pay for college.
It did not take long for me to figure out that boys do not keep things in pristine condition. They still possess piles of the cards. Over the years, they'd pull them out every now and again and get together with their friends for an impromptu tournament. They never thought of the cards as an investment. Rather, they were a means to connect socially with their friends.
Twenty years later, I've learned that Pokémon was not just a passing phase. It was, or should I say it is, a defining cult phenomenon of my children's generation. They grew up with the cards, cartoons and video games. Now they are chasing them down on their smartphones with an augmented reality app.
My middle son and I have to run an errand together this week. When I asked him when he was available, he said, "Not Thursday! I'll be at the zoo all day."
A quick glance at Facebook revealed why my son made plans to visit the North Carolina Zoo this week. The zoo is planning a Pokémon Lure Party for Thursday. When he arrives, all my son has to do to receive $2 off regular admission is show his Pokemon Trainer Profile.
Once he's inside the zoo, he'll be able to track down Pokémon and hatch eggs throughout the park, restock his backpack at 52 accessible PokeStops and gain experience at eight gyms. I happen to know that he is on the red team, so he'll be working to ensure the gyms remain red.
Zoo staff are planning to place Lures at PokeStops throughout the event. They also assure the public that rare Pokémon are often seen at the zoo, along with water, electric, rock, grass, fire, ground, psychic and fighting Pokémon.
A few things the North Carolina Zoo staff would like for my son and other Pokémon GO enthusiasts to remember about Thursday's event:
- Players are advised that the zoo does have WiFi in some public areas.
- Cellphone reception at the zoo varies by plans.
- The North Carolina Zoo is a safe, family-friendly place to collect Pokémon.
- Guests are reminded to please respect the natural space at the zoo, the safety of other guests and animals, to watch where they walk and stay on the trails.
- Share what you collect at #NCZooPokemon.
It will be interesting to watch Pokémon evolve over the next couple of decades. I imagine one day my children and their friends will reside in assisted living facilities that are crawling with virtual 3-D Squirtles, Bulbasaurs and Digletts.