Pokémon Go and Philosophy – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Pokémon Go and Philosophy

The Hobart and William Smith Philosophy Department invited the Colleges community to a faculty-led discussion that used the popular mobile game Pokémon Go as an object lesson in questions of ethics, truth, privilege and passion.

The informal discussion touched on ideas of space and reality, both physical and virtual; “social location” as related to race, class and gender; and how these factors shape ability and social privilege. The event was held on Wednesday, Sept. 14, in Delancey House.

“Pokémon Go is an interesting vehicle for thinking about this because privilege in physical movement can give one an advantage in the virtual space of the game,” explains Associate Professor of Philosophy Karen Frost-Arnold, who led the event with Associate Professor of Philosophy Greg Frost-Arnold and Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy Rochelle DuFord.

The discussion also touched on ideas of meaning and truth, relationships between human and non-human animals, and tolerance for other people’s passions.

Pokémon-themed refreshments were served, and there was an opportunity to play Pokémon Go after the discussion.