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Take a Pokémon GO Tour Through the Met Museum This Weekend

By Angely Mercado | July 22, 2016 11:08am
 Do you see any Pokémon hanging around the Egyptian exhibit?
Do you see any Pokémon hanging around the Egyptian exhibit?
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Catch Pokémon while gazing upon Egyptian tombs, Roman statues, and ornate Greek urns. 

Museum Hack, a group that holds interactive museum tours will be organizing a Pokémon GO-themed art tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art this Saturday. Guests will visit all of the PokeStops in the museum and discuss art throughout the rest of the tour. 

The group is trying to use the popular game to attract more unlikely visitors. 

"We were seeing people playing PokémonGO in the museum (and playing it ourselves — one of our guides is the current gym leader at the Met), and it's awesome the game is getting people in the door — but we figured we could combine the game with our tours and give people the best of both worlds," said tour guide Kate Downey in an email to DNAinfo.  

Lily Manshel, who led last Saturday's tour said that there will be time for everyone to both capture a coveted Charizard or Pikachu and then look at the artwork at and near the museum's dozen PokeStops. There will be games, stops to animal themed exhibits like "PixCell Deer #24 in Arts of Japan and other animal-related objects," and a boss battle game to control the gym in the museum. 

One of her favorite stops is Sakhmet, the Egyptian goddess of pestilence and destruction. 

"The piece itself is really incredible," said Manshel, "She has a lion head and a human body ... come catch cute animated creatures here." 

Though the group will be walking around with their phones out and taking advantage of nearby lures and stops, Manshel is sure that there won't be many issues with people wandering too close to artwork or getting in the way of other museum goers. 

"I understand that people are concerned about people ignoring the art, disturbing other museum goers, entering restricted areas, or potentially even damaging the art," said Manshel. "I haven't seen any PokémonGO players being disrespectful or disruptive at the Met, and I intend to maintain that streak with this tour."

Those attending the tour will be given about five minutes to catch Pokémon and get stuff near the stops, and then they'll have dedicated time to look at the art. 

"The way I see it, the Met is both a venerated cultural institution and zany, labyrinthine playground — the two things aren't mutually exclusive," she said.  

Manshel knows that people often see museums as somber places where rules have to be followed, but she thinks that a lot of the visitors will have fun. 

"The Met is wacky in so many ways, and I think Pokémon GO just brings that out," said Manshel. "I hope that people sort of get to realize that and will want to come back from that and explore." 

She encourages visitors to bring a charger and a portable battery and to have an enthusiasm for discussing Pokémon GO and the artwork that will be viewed on the tour. 

Anyone who is interested in attending the Pokémon GO art tour can sign up for it here. Tickets cost $39 which includes admission into the museum. 

The Metropolitan Museum would not return a request for comment about the tour.