How Genealogy and Pokemon Breaks

If you have haven’t been under a rock for the last week (and perhaps even in the event that you have been), you have probably heard something about a new game called Pokemon breaks . To say it is popular could be an understatement. It has already used over Netflix and Twitter. Yes, I started playing with it and was amazed that there are similarities with genealogy.

Pokemon Breaks a sport you play in your own iPhone or Android smartphone in which you search for Pokemon personalities and attempt to catch them. Once you get to a certain degree, you can battle other players (“coaches”) for management of virtual gyms which are scattered round the Earth, geo-tagged to libraries, churches, and popular landmarks. What is interesting about the game the way that it superimposes the figures to the actual world through the camera onto your cell phone. Here’s a snapshot of me attempting to grab Squirtle while waiting for dinner to arrive:

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The Way Genealogy and Pokemon Breaks Are Alike
The largest question/complaint I have heard from those who have not played Pokemon Breaks is the fact that it appears useless. After all, you are simply collecting virtual characters in your cell phone. How fun can this be?

Is not that the exact same question/complaint we hear from folks who do not do genealogy? “What is the purpose? How can it possibly be interesting to find old documents and attempt to locate dead men and women?” Sound familiar?

But before you begin to respond with,”But genealogy provides us insight to our own lives and creates connections with the past and the present,” believe there are also unseen advantages to Pokemon Breaks. (Not as deep as genealogy, but nevertheless they’re advantages.) My daughter and I’ve walked in the past week hoping to grab these damn things. (My FitBit is quite pleased with me) Her and her fiance also discovered a walking course at a neighborhood park which we did not realize was there. We have really talked to folks in our area. (“Hey! There is a Weedle down in the end of the road!”) It is a little thing, but it’s altered the vibe of being outdoors.