Pokemon Go is the game of the summer: the first really successful alternate reality game that mashes up crowdsourced maps, in-phone cameras, seriously addictive game mechanics, and (of course) a free-to-play/cash-to-accelerate slot machine mechanic that children wouldn't be allowed to stand near if it were in a casino -- in less than a week, it's lifted Nintendo's stock price by 10% and been implicated in any number of bizarre news stories:
* One player stumbled on a dead body while looking for a Pokestop (a refuelling station) in Wyoming (this is in addition to the plague of anecdotes about fist-fights, fender-benders, and slip-and-falls from distracted and/or obnoxious players).
* A group of armed robbers used the crowdsourcing tool for pointing players to Pokestops to drop pins in secluded corners of Missouri shopping center parking-lots, where they stuck up their Poke-playing victims.
* Boon Sheridan lives in a former church that is mistakenly flagged as a public place in geographic databases and has thus been populated by virtual Pokemons for players to catch; his quiet road is now beset by Pokemon players who linger, block traffic, and freak out his neighbors.
* Teagan snapped this photo of a Pokemon player catching their prey amidst a tense Oakland Police Department riot-squad at a demonstration.
Hoo-boy, it's getting a bit Bellwethery in here all of a sudden.
But can we harness all this Pokemon-mania for good? Comics writer Jim Zub thinks we can: "US Government should team up with Nintendo of America to make polling stations special Election Day PokeStops for a record voter turnout."
Karl Schroeder (previously) is literally the most visionary person I know (and I've known him since 1986!): he was the first person to every mention "fractals" to me, then "the internet" and then "the web" -- there is no one, no one in my circle more ahead of more curves, and it shows in his […]
Veteran reviewer/interviewer Rick Kleffel (previously) has just posted a long podcast interview (MP3) with Neal Stephenson, discussing his latest novel, Fall; or, Dodge in Hell ("a science fiction novel with a fantasy novel stuck inside of it").
A couple of weeks ago, I was thrilled to hear Subgenius founder, the Reverend Ivan Stang, interviewed on the Comedy on Vinyl podcast (previously) and to discover that the Church of the Subgenius was selling a $35 Salvation/Membership/Ordainment kit that was chock full of goodies.
Even if you feel like AirPods are worth the price tag, you’ve got to admit there’s a certain anxiety that comes with using them. What if I lose them? What if they get wet in the rain? Or drenched in sweat? Or fall into the drink you dropped them into? Shiny tech is great, but […]
With the quick-fix appeal of video games and their own cell phones, it can be tough to keep kids focused on supposedly “educational” toys. And while it may seem counter-intuitive to fight tech with more tech, we’re all in when it comes to the Toybox 3D Printer. We’re not sure if anyone had envisioned a […]
Whether you’re an artist, designer or just organizing a photo album, photo editing software is a must. And software designers know it: Platforms like Photoshop and Lightroom have a ton of helpful features, but you’ll pay for them in spades. Luckily, there’s some competition in the photo editing arena. Right now, Skylum’s Luminar software is […]