Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Touch of Nostalgia, Touch of Modernity, A lot of Walking

 Pokemon Go was released the past summer, and was introduced to a lot of public acclaim. For months(and even now) the world saw everyone walking around glued to their phones trying to catch digital creatures. 

For some, it was a blast from the past where we got to relive our memories of our favorite show and/or game. For others, it was a fun exploring game and a creative way to get out. The game, similar to Niantic Lab's previous game Ingress relied on the user to use their cell phones to access this world of augmented reality.

Image result for pokemon go
Originally starting as an April Fool's Prank collaboration between Google and Nintendo, the popularity of the idea was highly received. The men behind Pokemon Go were Satoru Iwata, who was the former president of Nintendo, and John Hanke the CEO of Niantic Labs. Iwata became the public face of the company a while back when he focused Nintendo's reach to the mobile gaming world and social media. Unfortunately the game came out after his death, but the CEO of Pokemon accredits Iwata for collaborating for 2 solid years to create the Pokemon Go project. Hanke believes that augmented reality games are a great way to shape the future, as he transitioned from a VP at Google to founder of Niantic Labs, a startup gaming company to combine Google's GEO technology with gaming. Their first release Ingress was moderately successful, but it was Pokemon Go that put them on the map.  He believes that video games that offer a meditative effect should be applied to the outside world. As a quote from a Niantic employee "John wants people to out into the world. He’s stuck by that vision that the world is a great place to be present in, not behind a computer screen. It’s a very noble cause"[1]. 

The game was groundbreaking to say, because it was on the forefront of a new generation of games. It showed the new technology of augmented reality, especially on such a large scale integration of mobile technology and real life. It also motioned at video games that lead to a real life connection with other people.

Above is a picture where over 5000 people showed up for a Pokemon go gathering.
Pokemon Go shows that innovation clearly does not stay within restricted boundaries. Pokemon Go bridged the digital world with the real world through an everyday device such as the smart phone. Various combinations of technology, and the perseverance of vision like that of Iwata and Hanke allowed for such mold-breaking products to be made. It was through the Big-C creative mind of Hanke, who wanted to implement on a global scale a augmented reality video game that allowed for the people to do an action that involved video gaming and the real world. It also points to the intrinsic thinking of Hanke to implement video gaming into real life and the willingness to collude with major collaborations between Google, Niantic Labs, Pokemon, and Nintendo.

[1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/meet-john-hanke-the-eccentric-board-game-loving-visionary-who-ru/


  1. I love how this post focuses on the product as it became. The product could be seen as only a game, but the most creative part of this app is that the game creates an experience for each user. The user can be creative in their search for animals, and the game makers used the platform to get people outside and exploring. I have thought this game was important since I saw a pair of brothers dragging their dad around on a beautiful July day in Lincoln Park. The game brings people together and brings them outside, and that secondary actionable level of creation is what really struck me.

  2. I think that another interesting stance to take on the creative process/product of Pokemon Go is that it solved a 21st century problem. So many of us are stuck behind screens: playing video games, scrolling through Instagram, watching Netflix. I like how Pokemon Go took this obsession with technology and made it into something that got people out of their homes. It still uses a cell phone, but users are encouraged to explore the world around them and meet new people, all well still playing a virtual game. Its great! The initial interest has definitely died down, but I thought it was pretty awesome last summer when I saw hundreds of people outside walking around and looking for pokemon. The game, without a doubt made a huge impact.

  3. I have always been amazed at how pokemon go introduced pokemon to a whole new generation while still raising to meet expectations of an older generation. The ingenuity of integrating virtual reality while staying true to the source, it is something that should be applauded. I know that some people look down on it, because it causes the younger crowd to be even more attached to their phones, but it also encourages an interaction that I find rare in today's technology presence. I have heard so many stories about people coming together, relating more to younger family members as well as older ones, and most importantly, having fun with a game that has inspired an entire generation of people to have fun and get out and see the world around them.


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