I’m smack dab in the middle of Pokemon Go‘s target demographic.
I’ve seen some funny memes online where a big scary van has graffiti’ed “Rare Pokemon Inside” on it with the caption, “How to kidnap a 28 year old in 2016,” and I can tell you, that is accurate. I’m sitting at my desk in the office and there is a Squirtle near by and every ounce of me wants to leave this chair and go find him.
I spent the entire weekend walking. I went to a park I’ve never been to before, walked to the grocery store twice, and stood outside of a church with a total stranger because it was a Pokemon gym and we were trying to take it over.
I’ve shouted out my car window at strangers and held my phone up in the air as they did, laughing. I spoke to a guy in my office building that I’ve seen a thousand times before and never said a word to, because he saw I was catching a Seaking CP 400+ in our office parking lot. I talked to a group of teenagers outside of the mall who told me there were some good Pokemon near by.
I was outside, I was talking to actual people, we were helping each other build an experience that was exclusively ours: the people who play Pokemon Go.
Pokemon Go, is not just “augmented reality” but it appeals to a nostalgia that speaks to a certain group of people who grew up with the show/cards/Nintendo game. Teenagers are into it too, and that is not surprising, but you have ADULTS who are usually sitting around all day, working or watching Netflix, out and about playing this game.
AR, when done right, has the ability to bring people back outside where we exercise and engage with other humans, face-to-face. Has it given back what other technology has taken away…?