Could Pokémon Go and a social event at DOMA coexist? What would the outcome be? We gained a bit of a taste of what would result from such a social experiment on Friday, August 26 at PokéBash. Before the official start time at 5 p.m. people were already starting to approach and enter the large wooden doors of DOMA. From the beginning, you could tell this wasn’t going to be just like any other art museum event. Many people mentioned their admiration of the integration between the artistic atmosphere and the mobile game. Even with the overwhelming sense of individual technology usage, people were still engaged with one another and even helping one another with aspects of their gaming.
There were plenty of fun activities besides the Pokémon lures lined up for students that made time away from their studies. Plenty of visitors took advantage of the free giveaways offered inside the doors such as mobile phone stands, posters, and more. There were coloring tables with crayons and coloring pages of Pokémon characters and art inspired by the DOMA collection. On the stairs, a photo booth allowed people to be creative with putting themselves within a picture frame and act as goofy or serious as they like with various accessories and masks. Kailey and Aaron were first time visitors to the museum. “It was a great time and it was a beautiful building. There were great crafts to release tension after all the class work. It was much needed down time. We are definitely coming back again,” they said.
There was a constant flow of over 300 people coming in and playing their games, and many ventured off to explore the collection. With over 11,000 priceless artifacts, DOMA is full of treasures and inspiration. Ashley Douglas, a junior from Ivy Tech said, “the event was a whole lot of fun! The Pokémon theme and museum is a good combo. I’ll be coming back after my first visit.”
At 6 p.m. things filtered to the outdoor activities of the Quad, where lines of excited students rushed to do mandala-inspired rock painting provided by DOMA, get henna tattoos, climb a rock wall, eat free pizza and Insomnia cookies, or listen to live music. Several attendees spoke of how they believed social media, personal gaming with phones and handheld devices has become such a common scene.
As the event closed you could see people humming away at songs they heard from the band, dancing, laughing or talking about what the next event might be. Who knows for sure what is to come from the journey of life through the rest of the semester? One thing is for sure; there were memories made for many at the PokéBash. Many will look back at the event and remember the smell of the food, the goofy picture they took on the stairwell in front of the Buddha statue, coloring pages at the tables, the free poster that will hang in the dorm room for the next year or so, live music or the other outdoor activities. Who knows what the next cultural phase will be? Will people still be chasing imaginary digital creatures on their phones? We’ll see what’s in store at the next Quad Bash.
Photos by: Emma Rogers