Whether you’re losing weight or losing you’re drivers licence, there’s no denying the impact that Pokemon Go has had on the world. But nothing has been as critical as the impact it’s had on my head. More specifically my nose after I walked into a tree trying to capture these miscreants. Discretion isn’t a formative directive in a game as mobile as this, highlighted in my previous post. I mean it’s difficult to be furtive when you’re pointing you’re phones integrated camera around like an excitable tourist. But could it really endanger you’re life? Since it release there have been speculative reports concerning the hazardous use of augmented reality and human mobility. Specifically how these two parallels have resulted in numerous incidences such as participants walking into lakes, crashing vehicles, or bashing their noses on stupidly placed trees. After such churlish pursuits and foolish displays of spatial incompetence it’s easy to blame you’re device for distracting you when you should’ve been watching the road you were crossing. But there’s a critical distinction between ignorance and incompetence, none of which can be attributed to a game.
There’s no accounting for human stupidity. If we could prevent such detrimental impulses we wouldn’t need physiologists or Jeremy Kyle. And it’s funny, you tell someone you’re an angler, even if it isn’t a hobby they share and they can still sound inquisitive. Say you like gaming and you’re treated to confused gazes as if you were a child that had let out a small, inoffensive fart. Its probably more socially acceptable to say that you swindle pennies from blind orphans or that on weekends you push the elderly into reservoirs. I’m sure even stamp collector’s are regarded with more respect than gamer’s! So why I we treated with mild revulsion, vehement ignorance or more commonly; perceived as stupid? So stupid in fact that we eat soup with forks and if we had another brain, it would be lonely. If not for the intervention of wrist enabled devices that indicate when to breath, we’d likely of suffocated on glue fumes or swallowed an entire Lego house building set long ago. We are a collectively shunned demographic that has sustained a fortified resiliency to such abhorrent generalisations. We aren’t anymore impressionable or idiotic as any other person. Despite incidences to the contrary (such as walking into a damnable tree!). And with the help of Pokemon Go we’ve actually discovered newfound sociable aspirations.
Pokemon Go attracts passive community integration. This represents a chance for constitutionals to result in a meaningful collaboration between individuals that may never have conversed otherwise. To engage in harmless discussions about their experiences, their current infantry of Pokemon or something else all together. Its not perfect and yes there are inherent risks as there is with any discerning conversation. But perhaps a cynical view is obscuring the fact that the benign convention that gamer’s lack the social conventions to communicate, lock themselves away, urinate in bottles and defecate in pizza boxes is a banality firmly disregarded by the errant enthusiasm of Pokemon Go players. And with connectivity largely stabilised, gamer’s can interact in a variety of fleeting ways. Gym battles can become a battle for territorial supremacy, with a localised contingency vying for municipal dominance or fortifying their position just by leaving their strongest Pokemon to defend the integrity of their respective team, earning residual experience and even coins while away. And because certain Pokemon are designated to specific environments; for instance water types are near water, your encouraged to utilise the space around you to discover a diverse virtual ecosystem, frequented by an equally diverse range of trainers. Which could potentially attract the darker elements looking to exploit vulnerable players.
Lures are in game incentives that attract Pokemon to a specific location, creating a stationery environment replete in a deluge of wild Pokemon without the player even having to move. Now there have been concerns that these lures could be utilised to attract children for vulgar purposes. Of course parents and children’s organisations have a right to remonstrate Pokemon Go’s safety procedures as well as caution the developer that they have a responsibility to ensure that kids, as well as adults are secure while playing. Unfortunately sometimes there’s no way of preventing such exploitation. There aren’t any compliant measures that can be applied to stop potential muggers from manipulating targets down dark alleyways, anymore than you can prevent someone from luring children to a secluded area with ice cream. It’s something all of us have to be wary of. There has also got to be direct parental interventions as well as developer cautions to prevent children from being exposed to potentially dangerous practices initiated by opportunistic scum buckets. As for adults, well we have to set a better example. I take full responsibility for walking head, or rather nose first into a tree. Just as someone who drives while playing this should. We should know better. We can’t blame Niantic for own gross capacity for idiocy. You can’t demand that a car manufacturer install more safety features because someone drove their car while tired or under the influence. Sometimes human error has to be accountable. Even if you’re spatial awareness is as accurate as a confused fly banging it’s head against an unopened window.
Let’s not forget that this is encouraging kids and adults to be active. To explore. To get out of the house and move those chubby little appendages called legs. The poke stops, whereby participants can pick up supplies and amenities are located at various locations such as monuments or places of historical or architectural significance. And it’s funny seeing these places sprout up suddenly on the map. Some are well known locations like a local pub (as if I need another reason to frequent such an establishment?!) some are rather more obscure and strangely foreign to me like a statue or mural depicting some historical event I had no idea existed, despite having lived in the town for almost 30 years?! I’d find myself asking “I had no idea that was there?” So in a way Pokemon Go’s is systematically increasing regional tourism in the community. If local business are opportunistic enough then they could potentially place lures to attract Pokemon and by association trainers to their retail outlet. It’s a shrewd strategy that I think businesses could potentially exploit. Especially if increased notoriety equates to increased revenues, thereby promoting a more subversive form of commerce.
But that’s all by the by. For me Pokemon Go is an encouraging sign of something truly innovative for mobile gaming. It’s not technically a very good game, but it is an obsessive experience. It’s not the first of its kind, nor is it in anyway perfect. The nearby function has been substantial crippled by its own creators, meaning tracking Pokemon has become nigh impossible. But it’s something I’m hopeful will be amended in a future update. If not, then it could struggle to maintain player ambition. Another grievance is that as you level up you’ll also become increasingly confounded by the resistance of even the weakest of Magikarps, as capturing Pokemon becomes an exercise in patience and as well as luck. Despite this I’m still playing. Still grinding for those Magikarp candy and searching for the elusive Farfetched. Still walking through town, stopping at Pokestops and administering wry smiles to those passing by doing the same as me (I hope. Otherwise I’ll look a little weird?). I think the games biggest obstacle though is something a little more inert than server issues, game-play glitches and a dubious tracking system that has difficulty triangulating my location. I’m more curious to see how popular this game will be once the weather conditions deteriorate? Does anyone really want to be capturing virtual creatures in rain, sleet or snow? It probably doesn’t matter. I will likely walked off a cliff by then anyway……landing straight on a tree with my luck!
This is a cautionary tale concerning the dangers of Pokemon, ignorance and general human stupidity.
“You’re mine now!” Having tracked it to my local park I knew it could be anywhere. It was a clear and humid day so the hustle and bustle of congested human activity was erratic, with many strolling along the river nonchalantly seeking refuge from the midday sun, to bask in rejuvenating convalescence. The river, glistening with nurturing hydration appeared to be the source of its sudden, though fluctuating residency. I had pursued it this far, it’s monochromatic silhouette confirmed that I was close. Considering my latent Jesus abilities I decided to continue fortifying my position on land rather than crossing into the centre of the river. Maintaining a cautious pace, knowing how long it had been confounding me I was dubious of its familiarity and readily aware that it could allude me yet again. Then suddenly, like an erection in spandex it appeared; Dratini! My perseverance had paid off. I had made sure to formulate a contingency for any formalities. I was fully stocked with Pokeballs, Razz Berries and enough determination to rally a small team of disgruntled shop assistants against their malevolent oppressors. Appearing behind me (clever girl!) I engaged, fully prepared for any eventuality. In my mind it was an epic, kinetic battle between two fierce competitors. In reality it was a nearly 30 year old man leaning against a tree, with a vacant nonplussed expression flicking his finger at a touchscreen. Periodically I asserted my dominance over this elusive beast as it finally succumbed to the onslaught of my balls….What I meant is that I beat it with my balls…..you know what, never mind. I caught it! Throughout the campaign I was maintaining the perception that I was just casually venturing through the park, using my phone for writing poetry or haiku’s. But people knew. Probably because they were similarly engaged in their own personal battles. Words needn’t be spoken between trainers. There is just a knowing, gestural glance such as a nod that is required to declare you’re intentions. A recognition reached with mere eye contact.
After the nuanced pleasantries had been exchanged with a random passerby and a subtle fist pump delivered to indicate that I had finally snared the exotic beast Dratini, I decided that further localised reconnaissance was required to ascertain the existence of any other clandestine inhabitants in the area. Pokemon I mean, not Polish immigrants. (Thanks Brexit for making me have to clarify that!) During my brisk walk past two additional pokestops, having been broached by a number of ancillary pokemon like Pidegey and Rattata that deserve to die a peasants death, I figured that the area had been exhausted of its rarer species and I endeavoured to branch off in search of more supplies. But just as I had accepted the depletion of the habitat an Onix appeared “near by”. I had to have it! It may not be the most coveted creature, but it would make a fine contribution to my team. I searched furiously. Every time I thought I had it in my sights the “near by” function prompted me that I had gone too far. I just couldn’t isolate it’s location. It was so frustrating! And then when all hope was lost, it happened. Without warning……I walked straight into a tree! Not with any subtlety either. It was so direct, so shocking that I actually let out a discernible “oof?!” as I walked into it. Foiled by foliage. And with that the Onix that I had been chasing with fervent ambition for approximately 30 mins was gone, as was any sliver of remaining dignity I retained since downloading Pokemon Go in the first place. Life, even virtual ones it seems are full of obstacles, reminders and distractions designed to clarify just how tragic and typically stupid humanity is capable of being. Especially when it involves mobile phones.
Have you had any accidents while playing Pokemon Go? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers.
Shh! I’m hunting Pokemon. And what a glorious day for it. The Beedrils are gathering pollen, the Pidgeys are trying to have sex with them, as far as my understanding goes. Yes a fine day to apply some shrewd, wile stewardship and provide advanced tuition to my assembled team with the utmost diligence and considerate nurturing, constructing a competitive Pokemon team that can defeat any opponent. I value each and every one of you with equal neutrality. Except for you Mr Mime you paedophile! Yes Pokemon catching has never been more enveloping, or at least I assume it hasn’t as it has yet to be released here in the UK yet. When bugs, server intrusions or indeed total server congestion prevents a game from functioning even in a limited capacity that’s usually a sign that the game probably wasn’t ready to be released in the first place. “Pokemon Go’s” augmented reality–that enables users to capture Pokemon in the real world using GPS location to identify potential creatures appears to of prevented any expedient Pokemon capturing beyond momentary lapses of functionality, that grant users mere excerpts of its full poetic potential. Being a UK resident however has meant I can neither confirm nor deny just how good or bad Pokemon Go is at present, as it’s release has been delayed in this region to coincide with the somehow unexpected popularity internationally that has crippled it’s servers. I realise there are systemic workarounds that allow users here in the UK to participate in all the hilarity of catching Pidgeys on lap-dancers, Sandshrews in police departments and being guided to dead bodies, but I’m waiting for an official release, that’s hopefully free of many of the fluctuating maladies currently afflicting it’s functionality. It’s delayed release has allowed me time to consider how I’m actually going to play Pokemon Go with the sane fervent determination I had previously hoped.
Now it’s only just occurred to me just how limited my applications are going to be with this featured connectivity. You see my data, when not connected to a recognised WiFi server is going to get eaten quicker than melting chocolate in Marlon Brando’s hand. Any interactions I have away from connected WiFi are going to be brief, essentially negating the conceptual spontaneity of the game. The location specific dynamic is a fundamental principle that allows a diversified system of capturing Pokemon as you have to travel to accumulate a wide range of differing Pokemon. Moderate consumption of my data is largely due to frequent interactions with apps, YouTube and general Internet searches, so any additional utilisation such as this will only intensify my prohibitions, not to mention cripple my battery! I blame 4g, the data sucking harpy! Vines, gifs and other short videos consume so much data, even with short momentary glances. I’m constantly forced to turn off my mobile data to conserve every kb from any ambient data usage. How can I conceivably become the very best when I’m restricted by data allowance? The emphasis on physical exploration is admirable yet impractical for someone such as myself whose data could be consumed within a day. But I guess until I’ve actually played it (hopefully soon!) these potential hindrances affiliated with modern gaming will remain hypothetical’s grievances. Yet consumer retention is going to be vast. So if you walk past someone that suddenly turns their cap back to front, be prepared for a battle.
Literally as I finished drafting this series of agitations Pokemon Go was released right here in the UK. Perhaps I should draft things like this a little quicker next time?
Hi, how are you? Random post here. Lovely to make you’re acquaintance. See this adorable little duck above wielding a leek as if it were Excalibur? That my friends is my most favouritist Pokemon in the whole entire world! It’s name is Farfetched and it can live in my balls any time. Why? Well that’s kinda difficult to explain. I remember when I was in school and Pokemon exploded like an hallucinogenic, bacterial phlegm, slowly infecting and encouraging kids to buy trading cards, games and various iterations of cultural exploitation. Consuming all of popular culture into one amalgamated poke ball of hysteria. A novelty we all thought would fade away like Ferbies, Pogs or Alicia Silverstone, but has instead consistently endured despite economic exposure. This was back when every other conversation concerned whether or not you would bone Misty or not I (would). Everyone with even a passing familiarity to the series had chosen their favourite Pokemon, pursuing various ideologies to their decisions. “Charizard is the best because he looks cool!”. “Blastoise is the best because he looks dangerous!” “Pikachu is the best because it’s cute”. Well I think Farfetched is the best because it isn’t even trying. “Farfetched?! Are you mad? Get outta here you weirdo!”.
People took real umbrage to my affinity. But I kinda liked that it wasn’t a recognised fighter, that it didn’t adopt an aggressive stance or pose in an intimidating manner. Amongst the huge retinue of deliberately dangerous Pokemon, Farfetched stood proudly as a more nurtured and profoundly inert figure in a roster of violent socio-paths. I mean even Pikachu looked as though it wanted to lunge at you’re groin and charge static current up you’re backside to see what colour you’re balls would light up like! Farfetched looked so benign in comparison, as though he’d just wandered down the shop to pick up a leek to complement a salad it was making. Or that it’s literally so passive that it was strolling towards a stew to be boiled and subsequently devoured and the leek is just a convenient accompaniment! Because of its meekness and the way it almost always winked at you rather than frighten you meant that I have always shared an endearing affinity with him/her.
I still have this image of him striding around with authoritative conviction, swaying his leek with regimented precision, demanding respect. And there’s something delightfully exalting about that. I remember my instinctive preference to Farfetched being solidified when some obscure magazine had created some algorithmic generator that calculated, through a vaguely defined, numerical variable’s what Pokemon you are. Some arbitrary equation like you’re age, plus you’re birth year, times by your house number, subtract the number of spots on a cheetah divided by the number of friends you still retained at this point, and that would somehow equate to a Pokemon with the equivalent number. Mine was Farfetched. Coincidence? This much maligned figure should be praised for its courageous individuality. It didn’t have some vascular, hyper powered evolution. And it didn’t need one; because awesome doesn’t require visual intimidation or aesthetic girth. Sometimes you just can’t improve on perfection! Yes it’s attributes as a combatant are less than impressive but it’s behavioural solidarity still resonates strongly. And when Pokemon Go is finally released you can bet that Charizard, Pikachu or even MewTwo won’t be top of my list of acquisitions, but rather Farfetched will warrant my immediate consideration.
What is you’re favourite Pokemon? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers.
All I wanted was to be the very best, like no one ever was. To catch them all was my real test, to train was my cause. I would travel across the land, searching far and wide. Each Pokemon to understand the power that’s inside. This wasn’t just an expression, this was a constitution to live by! I had dreams of marrying nurse Joy; travelling the world together, getting into misadventures. Man I would’ve “squirtled” her “Cloister!” Like many of you I traversed the varied regions of Kanto and Johto, battling gym leaders, thwarting the complaisant operations of local terrorist organisations and catching as many Pokemon into cramped prison balls before the RSPCA were ever aware. Yes Pokemon was my natural habitat to the point that I had totally convinced myself that I would leave home to pursue my dream of becoming the world’s foremost Pokemon trainer. I spent weekends levelling up my Zapdos, MewTwo and Charizard to level 100. Every couple of months or so, when the game had become tedious I’d just start all over again. I remember the glorious satisfaction of defeating my loyal, yet best friend in battle. He hated me for weeks after that. In fact, I’m not sure he ever truly came to terms with that humiliation. Alas like many of you I grew up, unable to emancipate myself legally from my family and not privileged to live in a fictional world where parents were encouraged to be irresponsible and allow their 10 year old children to wander the wilderness alone, attracting the attention of far older strangers. In time my interest in the series waned, largely influenced by myriad of unimaginative editions and the bloated retinue of additional creatures that made the basic premise of “catch them all” an almost impossible task. It never felt like something I’d ever return too either, especially considering the lack of innovation applied to the series in almost 20 years. That is until Nintendo announced it would celebrate the 20th anniversary of Pokemon with remastered versions of the original Red, Blue and Yellow games.
I had dreams of marrying nurse Joy; travelling the world together, getting into misadventures. Man I would’ve “squirtled” her “Cloister!”
Available to download on the 3DS eShop, it’s February 27th release date coincides with the 20th anniversary of the original release on the GameBoy. 20 years?! Damn I’ve wasted my life. It’s important to note however that these are remastered versions, not remakes, which I’m mildly disappointed about, at least until nostalgia hits. What I’m really looking forward to though is Pokemon Go. Only available on mobile devices and costing Nintendo in excess of $30 million, Pokemon Go enables gamers to capture Pokemon in real world environments with the use of augmented reality. The game identifies your location to generate Pokemon specific to your area, encouraging players to participate by actually getting off your Snorlax sized butt to find and capture different kinds of Pokemon. For instance if you’re near a river Poliwags and Magikarps should be plentiful. Scouring woodlands should unearth Caterpies and Weedles. Hopefully you won’t be required to visit active volcanoes or power-plants to capture fire and electric types though. It’s such an exciting prospect ripe with possibilities. Imagine if regional limitations were applied that meant you could only encounter certain Pokemon if you lived in a specific part of the country. You could have an organically progressive community of trainers dedicated to trading across different states, districts or indeed countries trying to get that one allusive rarity into their Pokedex. Imagine if you had to stand in the middle of a field to encounter a Ponyta or even scale Mount Everest to capture MewTwo! Perhaps that’s taking it a little far but it would be cool to have unique Pokemon indigenous to you’re back garden. Perhaps ambient temperatures and environmental conditions could have adverse effect on how frequent specific creatures appear, with some appearances dependant on climate or whether they’re nocturnal.
Whatever happens, I’m sold. The one thing that I’ve always said could tempt me back to the series, other than a full fledged console version of the games, was the idea of making me believe I “AM” a Pokemon trainer. And though rumours persist that in game purchases may consist of being able to purchase Master balls or rare Pokemon for actual money–neither would surprise me considering that Nintendo will need to profit from a freely available game in some lucrative fashion, just as long as objectives, specifically the attainment of every Pokemon can be obtained without monetised incentives. Once released I’m probably not going to care. This game could be the most important development for the series since its inception. Presumably because there will be an increase in the number of residents being arrested for trespassing.
Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow are expected to be released on February 27th, with “Pokemon Go” estimated between late February and December 31st. Basically, no one knows!
I think it’s going to be notably difficult explaining to my employers on Monday that I’m leaving my current occupation to pursue my dream of becoming a renowned Pokemon trainer. “But Karl, where are you going?” “To become the best there ever was, sir!” This is a career enabling my own penchant for encouraging composite creatures to battle one another for my amusement and rewarding their success with permanent incarceration within perennial retracting sized balls. And considering that such an alternate vocation is now a viable solution, I’m looking forward to explaining. Pokemon GO, the formatively licensed collaboration between communal mobile gaming and the permeating lineage of Pokemon, is probably the most substantially adaptive and innovative the Pokemon series has been for quite sometime, representing a culmination of variable activity you’d associate with the diversified merger of social mobile gaming and pocket monsters. Pokemon GO enables gamers to attract and capture Pokemon in the real world (REAL. WORLD! *Squall*) with a detecting navigation on your app, with an attached device presumably that alerts you to a Pokemon’s vague approximation in your vicinity. Once the subject is within range, you’ll have to determine its exact location with your camera and capture it. This feature lends itself well to the depiction of attaining a subordinates assistance through innate visitation as somewhat of an adventure. Whether or not this functionality continues to inspire you to engage in capturing what will invariably be another Caterpie, or if there’s an even or more appropriately fair distribution of variable critters is very difficult to infer as such tentative stage. Of course Pokemon GO’s introduction could also be a prelude to many awkward discussions regarding your suddenly erratic attitude, as you dramatically abscond from the house to apprehend a Bulbasaur! It also actively encourages you to move around and search for Pokemon much like the traditional RPG elements depicted in its contemporary predecessors, creating figments in reality that is easy to assimilate into.
Of course it’s going to be a little awkward trying to explain to my work colleagues why I’m standing in the middle of the warehouse suddenly afflicted with a need to take pictures of inanimate objects, or explaining to my driving instructor the exact reasoning for my own assented route on the day. Also, never the one resist a good double-entendre which I contribute to on a daily basis, Pokemon GO represents mandatory fields for plush, vacuous innuendo’s. Such as wandering into someone’s front garden and saying “Ssh, I don’t wish to alarm you miss, but there appears to be a Jigglypuff nesting in your bush.” I guess it could be worse, it could be a Krabby?! Considering the series longevity of its standing mediocrity over the past decade and Nintendo’s persistent reluctance to distribute its exclusive utilities to anyone else, to see something genuinely inventive from Pokemon is a cause for excitement. Or perhaps this a measure of the excitement in my life right now. Uh hang on a second……sorry I’ve got to go. There’s a wild Farfetched in my garden, tearing up my newly furnished lawn! Get in my ball you!
Are you excited by the announcement of Pokemon GO? Let me hear your thoughts. Check out the trailer above if you haven’t already. Cheers.