Pokemon craze drives players into Norfolk churches
Augmented reality mobile phone game, Pokémon Go, could drive young players to churches across Norfolk in search of real-life locations which feature in the latest digital craze.
Pokémon Go is a mobile and tablet app game that has been an overnight sensation with millions playing it around the world and was launched just last week in the UK.
The aim of the game is to capture little creatures called Pokémon (Pocket Monsters), battle to win as many 'gyms' as you can and become the Pokémon Master.
The Diocese of Norwich has published information from the Church of England regarding how churches can engage with young players who may drop in while taking part in the game.
St Peter Mancroft in Norwich city centre has been identified as a Pokémon Gym, where players can battle with other players to take control of the location of their team.
Other churches may be a PokéStop, which players have to visit to get certain items they may need to play the game.
“Pokémon Go is giving churches around the country a great opportunity to meet people from their area who might not normally come to church,” said a Diocese spokesperson.
You can find out if your church is a PokéStop or a Gym by downloading the game. You might also spot people standing outside the church on their phones who may be playing the game.
The Diocese is offering the following tips if your church wants to get involved.
Place welcome signs outside: welcome gamers to come inside and explore the church. Why not set up a cafe area and offer drinks and snacks. The game also uses a lot of battery so why not create a battery charging station? If your church has WiFi let players connect to it.
Speak to players about the game: learn how to play it yourself, it’s a good way to start a conversation that may lead on to other things.
Why not hold a Poképarty like Christ Church Stone. View their event here.
Tweet about it: Just like Aylsham Parish Church did. Don’t forget to use #PokemonGo
The Diocese of Norwich has also warned of the potential dangers and pointed out that the NSPCC has issued advice to parents of those children playing Pokémon GO in the UK.
“Our first priority as a church should always be to provide a safe place for children and vulnerable adults with regards to Pokémon GO,” said the spokesperson.
Read the advice on the NSPCC’s website
Find out more about Pokémon Go
Read the full article here at DioceseofNorwich
Pictured top is a scene from Pokemon Go and, above, St Peter Mancroft in Norwich city centre which has been identified as a Pokémon Gym.