Okay, so I'm a little obsessed about Pokémon Go. But I've got company. If you're in a high-traffic area--a city downtown, college town, park, tourist spot, etc.--look for the Pokémon Go players. (There's an urban park near me that I've unofficially renamed "Pokémon Square." At any given time of the evening, around 100 people are there, searching...)

If you work at a law school, especially on a university campus, wait until students return for Fall semester!  Heck, my law school is fairly quiet now and has no PokéStops nearby--just a Pokémon gym next door--and yet people are wandering onto campus looking for Pokémon. (We've got Ponyta in the parking lot.) One of the school's administrators (kiddingly) blames me for this phenomenon. I blame Niantic and the Pokémon Company. ;)

I'm even more sure than I was two weeks ago that Pokémon Go will have staying power. Not everyone likes or understands the game or the excitement. But if you encounter a fan, you might try a Pokémon Go reference to make conversation or even to explain legal research. In any case, most people should know at least basically what Pokémon Go is.

Since my original post, I've thought of other connections between Pokémon Go and legal research.  Here they are in a Poké Ball, I mean, nutshell:
  • Catching common Pokémon (Rattata, Pidgey, etc.) or low CP (combat power) Pokémon = basic legal research.
  • Catching or evolving rare Pokémon (Electabuzz is my rarest so far) or high CP Pokémon = advanced legal research. [Some Pokémon, such as Mew, aren't available at all. Think of them as certain kinds of case reports and other legal sources that haven't been made public.]
  • CP / HP (hit points) = quality of research results. [Pokémon with more points do better in battle. More relevant authorities are better for briefs.]
  • Teams = legal research systems with somewhat different approaches and results.  [I'm on Team Mystic, by the way.  However, sometimes I wish I could be on Team Rocket...]
  • Nests (locations that often spawn particular types of Pokémon) = more specific sources; narrowing of searches or results.
  • Available types of Pokémon may differ by area = available legal research resources may differ by jurisdiction.
  • Sorting Pokémon according to Pokédex number, how recently they were caught, HP, etc. = sorting results by relevance, date, court, etc.
  • Pokémon trading cards/Pokémon Go = print / electronic legal research. [You can collect Pokémon and battle them with cards or with the smartphone game.]
  • Niantic = a legal research system provider such as West. [Both Niantic and West can change the game/system, the pricing, the availability, etc., though the market might push back at certain changes.]
  • The fundamentals of both Pokémon Go and legal research resources will likely stay the same over time. However, some content or features may be added, subtracted, or modified.
  • Pokémon Go is bound to particular locations (PokéStops and gyms) and yet also available to some extent everywhere on any iPhone or Android phone with internet and a GPS signal.  Likewise, you can do legal research -- often better -- in law libraries, though you can also do legal research on any computer, tablet, or smartphone with internet.
  • Pokémon Go encourages the player to pay attention and to go to locations. (This can be good or bad.  For now, let's just say it's good.) How can we design legal research systems to foster a researcher's focus? How can we direct legal researchers to the most useful resources? I leave you to come up with possible answers, whether for your library's catalog or website, in programs and services for your library, or in other ways.