Entertainment Pokémon Go: Museum tour at The Met By Emily Schienvar firstname.lastname@example.org Updated July 18, 2016 1:01 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet gShare Email Museum Hack offered its first Pokémon Go-themed tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on July 16. Guides Lily Manshel and Ben Blackman led the group on a tour of museum pieces that could totally be Pokémon creatures or objects and sections with Pokémon-like history, with plenty of puns and jokes along the way. Unfortunately, on Saturday there was a worldwide crash of Pokémon Go's servers, so the game wasn’t able to be played during the tour itself, but there was plenty of fun to be had. Photo Credit: Emily Schienvar Manshel had spent time before the first tour documenting every Pokéstop she could find within the museum's walls. Originally, the guides had planned to take a few minutes at each of the tour's stops to drop Pokémon lures and have a "Pokémon-catching bonanza." "Especially at a museum like the Met, which people often find extremely overwhelming, Pokémon can be a nice way to break things up, like 'OK, I'm going to look at all of this art, and then I'm going to distract myself with cheerful animated things so that I don't get smothered by all of the Rembrandt.' Which is important. ... Fight museum fatigue in any way you can," she said. Photo Credit: Emily Schienvar Manshel introduced the group to William, a 4,000-year-old funerary object. The little blue hippo is the only object with a nickname printed on its sign, making it a little like the Met's own Pikachu, she said. Photo Credit: Emily Schienvar Manshel pointed out one of the first Pokéstops along the way: four statues of the goddess Sakhmet. (The Pokéstop is actually located one room over from the real statues due to an error in the game's map.) The statues each have a lion's head and a woman's body, which segued into the next stop -- the Sphinx, with a lion's body and a human head. Photo Credit: Emily Schienvar Blackman told one of the most famous Sphinx stories -- Oedipus' encounter and solving of a riddle. The Sphinx's riddle asks what has four legs in the morning, two in the afternoon and three in the evening; the answer is a human, first crawling, then walking, then using a walking stick. But this was a Pokémon tour, so but Blackman told the group that really the Sphinx was talking about an evolving Pokémon. He then offered a new riddle to the group: "We always travel in a cluster, psychic power is what we muster. When we touch a leaf stone, folks get a real laugh, for when we evolve, the number of our heads are divided in half." One of the tour participants correctly guessed the answer: Execute. Photo Credit: Emily Schienvar The tour's next stop was in the Japanese art wing, where "PixCell-Deer#24," a sculpture created out of a taxidermied deer and artificial crystal glass, resides. The tour guides noted that the artist, Kohei Nawa, augments reality in his work like the Pokémon Go game, in a way; while the game superimposes animated creatures over a live image from the phone's camera, Nawa designs his sculptures based off of a pixelated image of the base object he sees before it is delivered. With PixCell-Deer#24 (fondly referred to as Bubbles by the tour guides), he re-pixelates the deer with bubbles of glass. Photo Credit: Emily Schienvar The American Art wing, filled with pieces of furniture, paintings and household tools, served as grounds for a Pokémon design challenge--Manshel noted that as newer Pokémon have been added to the ranks of the original 151 creatures, they have become more and more ridiculous. The tour group was sent off for several minutes to find an object that could be one of the next Pokémon and decide on what its battle powers might be. Photo Credit: Emily Schienvar Diana, goddess of the hunt, serves as another Pokéstop in the museum. Blackman and Manshel joked that she might be the "original Pokémon trainer," given her interests in hunting. Photo Credit: Emily Schienvar While many have commented on the odd appearance of the Pokémon Go craze with players walking into traffic or wandering into odd places, Manshel noted that the first curator of The Met's arms and armor collection kept unique habits as well. Bashford Dean was a collector of old armor and would walk around the Bronx and New York City in his favorite finds, like a medieval suit of armor or Samurai gear. When The Met hired him for his skill and his collection, a working metal forge was installed beneath the horsemen at his request. Photo Credit: Emily Schienvar The statue of "Ugolino and His Sons," historical figures memorialized in Dante's "Inferno," counts for two separate Pokéstops. Photo Credit: Emily Schienvar Manshel pointed out the museum's Faberge collection; three of the 50 lavishly decorated eggs created for the Romanov family are housed in the gallery. For those who love the thrill of trying to "catch 'em all" in "Pokémon Go," joining in on the search for Faberge eggs might be the next big thing -- while 43 of the 50 are accounted for in museums and private collections, Manshel noted that seven are still missing, making it the world's largest Easter eggs hunt. Photo Credit: Pokemon Go The tour was meant to end with a battle, available to anyone who had already reached level 5 in the Pokémon Go game, but with the worldwide server issue, the tour had to focus on artwork that could be tied to the game. Future tours, with luck, should run according to plan. Manshel and Blackman said that tours will be offered at least once a week, adjusting for ticket sales, but based on the game's server traffic, they might play around with different days of the week. Photo Credit: Emily Schienvar Both tour guides were excited by the possibilities of future tours. Blackman said that the mixing of video games into reality was an exciting way to "lure" in new museum patrons. "It's funny how 'Pokémon Go' has really swept the museum scene. It's cool to be in on it," he said. "I feel like if it's someone who wasn't going to come to the museum otherwise, I think it's totally cool thing to get them in and trick them into learning some stuff. I think this stuff isn't so boring." Tickets are available for tours scheduled for 11 a.m. on July 23 and 30 for $39 each at museumhack.com/pokemon. By Emily Schienvar email@example.com Share on Facebook Share on Twitter More on this topic Pokémon in the city: What we learned on our 1st GoYou'll get your exercise, but so will your battery. DMV, NYPD warn Pokémon Go players to pay attentionThe Pokémon Go app has been downloaded by millions. 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