For a game that accompanied the frenzied hands of kids back in the late ‘90s, it’s latest offering has showed that it hasn’t lost sight of its predecessor’s achievements, having hit record breaking download figures of 50 million in merely a week.
The game, which ropes in Augmented Reality technology (imagine two realities overlapping each other), allows users to now catch virtual Pokemon characters in one’s real-life environments with the help of their smartphones, and do battle with them. While the battles are not just against the Pokemon, but also people’s perception of personal spaces, the game has seemingly gotten rather good reception all over the globe, which should be great news for Nintendo’s coffers.
Nintendo’s resistance to mobile gaming, it has to be explained, was due (in part) to its protection of its legacy console business. It finally decided to adopt its current stance early last year, when it struck up a partnership with mobile firm DeNA in its bid to make a mark in the smartphone arena.
And make a mark it has, with this list of demands that the game requires of any mobile phone:
- Graphics processor
- Cellular Radio
- Mobile data
“This game is just as I imagined it to be, it’s really fun. It’s also a great reason to go outside, so I’m really enjoying it.” – Toshinori Ishibashi, an 18-year-old Japanese student.
While the game has ensured that Nintendo has all its fans in their burgeoning pockets for the foreseeable quarter at least, the game has spawned a series of warnings for the players of these games, some of whom have taken it upon themselves to trip over pavements, crash their cars, get mugged, and even trespass.
“We hope the game enables users to see the world in a new, fulfilling way. Obey the rules and have fun” says Junichi Masuda, Head of Development at Game Freak, who also happens to be the co-creator of the game. He clearly hasn’t heard of the numerous instances rules had to be broken in order to succeed in the game.
Money spent on this game, contributes solely to the big beckoning pockets of the global companies that created it, instead of being of any profit to the places allocated on virtual maps for the benefit of the game. Picture money flowing away from from small to medium cities, and towards big technology companies in prime cities. This diversion and ignorance of local businesses are implications that 32 countries may or may not have considered when they agreed to launch the game in their respective territories.
Like most technology being introduced to the world, Singapore has taken a very prudent approach to it. “We have to study very, very carefully whatever is brought into Singapore. We will monitor the situation, how this particular game is being played, and its impact on society” said Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information. In a country well documented for its strict regimes from the time of its independence to its lofty ambitions of being a regional financial hub, a seemingly harmless game could have serious repercussions on its youth, the next generation of leaders in a small city state.
Besides a huge battery drain for mobile phones, and its subsequent need to carry a battery case or an external battery pack, Pokemon Go is a sublime example of great technology, with its serious potential for disruption on all other fronts. Or perhaps, it’s a great overlay the elites have planned for the masses, since we’re such an informed bunch these days.