Whoo hoo! Young people are not inside playing on xboxes! !!
They’re now outside wondering around wiggling their phones around, meeting at points and buildings finding pokemons and spots. Collecting items and having battles, and playing Pokemon Go! a game that is using the public space as the landscape for a series of challenges and interactions.
At least they’re outside.
So, what to do on detached?
Find the spots and wait for the young people to arrive? – could do
Set up a mobile Charlie brown like lemonade stall and give out drinks at the spots?
What it means is that young people are as much in the space of the streets as the driver is who is only following sat nav. The world is a game to be guided in by GPS, 4G and a camera.
For the detached youthworker we might see young people who wouldn’t normally be around or used to the outside space. Places that have their own cultures , rules and territories, being momentarily taken over by a new phase.
Given the conversational nature of detached, we get to hear the fads and fashions as young people tell us when they adopt them, yet this feels different in that its taking the game to the streets and reshaping how the street is viewed.
What about interrupting the pokemon players.. is it advised? , I guess we have to be even more conscious of stating who we are to them which we should anyway. But we would be interrupting and is this wise?
And if we’re aware of being strangers to young people finding the space, it’ll be worth being vigilant of those who might take advantage of the space and contact young people who might do harm. But then there’s always an element of protecting young people on detached so this is no different. Maybe we help them when they can’t find locations, or walk into lampposts…?
The good thing is that young people might be out and about, yet they’re not really bored in the space or even showing the body language to be approached in cold contact so engagement is likely to be limited. Unless of course we can help them find their next spots or zone, and Detached youthwork has always also had that element of helping people find their way.
Maybe if we can’t beat them, join them.
Remembering that not every young person is playing and can have access to play. And conversation with the regular young people might still be more appropriate. Will the gamers just be part of the outdoor culture for a little while. Effectively what Nintendo wii was for serious gaming. Just a hobby or passing interest.
How long might it last, can we really see young people playing in cold northern cities in November? Maybe, but the summer might be interesting..