The whole Internet seems to be obsessed with Pokémon Go. While I am loath to weigh in on this matter myself, I think it’s important to make a few notes of the phenomenon while it’s still happening. I know you’ve all been *anxiously* awaiting my thoughts, so without further ado, here they are.
1. I thought this technology was going to come out in 2011. I’m 5 years ahead of the curve! On an evolutionary scale, I was practically right on the money. What this tells me about Pokémon Go is that it could have been released in 2011 technology wise, but Google and Nintendo didn’t want to release it until it could make peak monies. We all know this. But it does make me feel like a little bit of a chump every time it happens.
2. For all the people out there arguing that it helps them be more active, I say a hearty, “Huzzah!” However, you do not get a free pass just because it’s helping you go outside more. If all you do whilst outside is bury your face in your phone, you’re only halfway there. Be honest with yourself, you would judge you if you weren’t you.
3. My wonderful boyfriend is teaching a STEM summer camp for junior high school students, and their reactions to Pokémon Go are more telling than any of mine. On a quick trip across campus, his class saw a bunch of college students (who, if you remember, junior high students are supposed to look up to) sitting by the UT Turtle Pond, all engrossed in their phones. These middle schoolers LAUGHED at the college students. These kids see these college aged, zombie-like Pokémon go-ers as the epitome of uncool. One kid went so far as to shake his head derisively and say, “Pokémon Go is the apocalypse”.
I’ve still got a lot more observing to do before I unpack what Pokémon Go means from a cultural perspective, but right now I don’t know how I feel about it. I’m glad people are rekindling a passion for playing games outside, and I’m also glad that this technology has FINALLY been released. On the other hand, it’s really, really lame guys! This can’t be the dream of augmented reality! And so late in our technological landscape? I don’t know. Expect a missive from me after the Internet finally gets bored and I can archeologically examine the leftover wreckage. Until then, happy hunting!
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