The Nintendo Company has unleashed an animal not of this realm, both literally and figuratively. Pokemon GO, the app that is sweeping the nation like the Bubonic Plague, has catapulted itself into Apple Store super-stardom, as the game has solidified itself as not only a top earner, but moreover a catalyst for some not-so subtle social change. Never before has a video game been able to supersede its medium, taking gamers out of the arcade and into the fun-house that is planet Earth. If you’re not a participant, I could imagine you are still fully engulfed in the games 2 week evolution, as it has become not only a staple in water cooler talk, but it’s earned itself a seemingly permanent spot on Page 1 headlines…and rightfully so. Pokemon GO is a game of firsts. While of course its characters and story line find its origins in the early 90’s, the smartphone application version is opening up Pandora’s Box in terms of possibilities, both positive and negative.
It’s amazing what this game has done to society in its minute existence. Turn on the news and networks across the globe are covering stories on children and adults alike scouring their neighborhoods to find and capture rare Pokemon, blurring the lines between virtual and reality, as the app has casted an intangible plane across the outside world, dropping digital hot spots on existing buildings and structures as no one has done before. Nintendo has achieved something remarkable, turning your neighborhood CVS into a digital Pokestop and has transformed baron fields and dark allies into places to be explored and ventured. Of course, 9/10 people log on simply to enjoy the game, but as always, every hero needs a villain. People are using the in-game lures to attract real-life victims into these secluded areas where most people, sans their Pikachu, would never navigate regularly. Trainers are wondering into oncoming traffic chasing down Caterpie’s, and now Megans Law offenders are even being banned from the game as the adventure isn’t just being lived over the net. No, for the first time, a video game has truly outgrown the confines of the outlet and is throwing people into the real world, which unfortunately enough, is not such a safe place to be in the more recent days. It’s a time of hate crimes and politically charged bigots, racism and radical activism. While the 21st century is surely the time and place for companies like Nintendo to innovate and push the boundaries of the norm, it’s all happening during an era where safety is about as much of a gaurentee as finding a Charizard in your neighbors pool house.
There’s a lesson to be extracted from Pokemon GO and the world that it has created, and it’s one of perspective. Pokemon GO is such an amazing game because it forces players to fully transcend past their standard 3D world and has thrust them into a new one, that can not be seen without the lens of an iPhone. More or less, Pokemon GO is a perpetual kaleidoscope, glasses of sorts which allow people to see differently. It has created a dynamic lens, harnessing the power of the internet to fully transform the existing realm into something not accessible by mankind’s current spectrum of perceptions. It’s amazing, it was inevitable, and now…it has become dangerous.
In Pokemon and in life, strife exists when there is friction. Friction is the result of opposition and opposition stems from differences in mind and body. More or less, all of the issues that have sprouted from Pokemon GO come from the fact that people are living on two different planes. We have the players and the play-nots. We have people who can see wild Pidgeys and Weedles on the state free way…and truckers who only see pavement and street signs. Whenever two people see the same thing in two completely different lights, strife and conflict is almost certain to be the byproduct.
The news stories will continue to come out, day after day, as the game continues to mature into itself. The economy will find its use for the game, the politicians will follow suit. Players will learn the nuances of catching ultra-rares while law enforcement will do their best to use their foresight to find proactive approaches to find solutions to the countless issues that game has bred. In a sense, Pokemon GO is a microcosm of the world we are living in, in that people are simply viewing the same exact thing in two completely different ways. Some people see A…others see B. Your backyard is my Pokestop and so on and so forth. The remedy to our impending doom on the heals of made up monsters is a beast of its own right. In order to have our cake and eat it to…play the game and maintain order in the real world, a third dimension will have to be found. While I myself am certainly not the owner of a crystal ball, nor do I possess the societal know-how to construct a rule book that can ensure the survival of both realities, I do have an idea that I think is worth sharing. Whenever there is an issue is society or reality, science sometimes can be used to find the secret ingredient.
While I know this post was a long winded retort, boasting far more questions the answers, this video gave me some piece of mind and broke down some of the boundaries that my brain was residing in. In laymen terms, Pokemon GO created a new dimension atop our existing one. In order for the two gears to keep spinning together, this video explains that a new dimension, may be the only way to keep everything salient and afloat. Plain and simple, take a note from the Nintendo companies mission statement and expand your mind. Break away from what you think you know and challenge yourself to think one step further. Don’t think on one plane, because we are living in a world of millions. Here it is folks, the only way to keep the gears of humanity spinning, is to look at the problem in ways you simply haven’t before.
This video is about as dry as 7th Grade Earth Science, but suck it up for the five minutes. It’s not about turning gears as the geek captured had entailed, but instead, it’s a solution to make sure coexistence isn’t as much of a pipe dream of catching Mewtwo.
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