Yesterday was a rather nice pokemon outing where I ventured out into the city in search of pokemon SouthBank is one of the busier areas of the city; a place for people to relax by the river with it’s fake beaches, market stalls, shop fronts, children’s play areas, and also a tourist destination.
I don’t go there very often anymore – except for the incredibly cheap and good movie theatre nearby, but it is hard not to recognise it’s place as one of the top places to go in Brisbane for food, entertainment, and relaxation which makes it a perfect place for Pokemon Hunting. With all the people hanging around the various spaces in the streets and boardwalks just about every pokestop has a lure on it and there are dozens in the space it encompasses. You could comfortably sit down somewhere to relax and eat and catch a heap or walk around and enjoy the site while catching plenty.
Unfortunately my phone decides to die after 30 minutes of pokemoning, a bad battery or the result of many drops, scratches and whatever else punishment I’ve dished out. It has had a bad life so far and it isn’t even 2 years old just yet. Definitely planning for a new one now.
While walking around without my phone though while others were in poke heaven it did leave me to observe a little closer and really take it just how many other people are poke crazy. I was once again amazed at the amount of people walking around with their phones oput, pokemon Go on screen. Teenagers, 20 year olds, grandmothers and fathers just by themselves. Young children of course but the surprising part was also seeing their parents walking around with their own phone out as well, actively talking about and catching pokemon. I even heard a few comments from the poke muggles about the game as they were walking along, commenting on it and pointing out people playing themselves.
It is amazing just what a cultural sensation it has become with a wide selection of the population playing, and even more being aware of it. Regular news article and reports acknowledging it. Celebrities and athletes playing for their own enjoyment and because of it I believe it might be the first game to truly move gaming into the mainstream.
Yes, Gaming is already a huge hobby with a large amount enjoying and being aware of them but mostly still keeping it as this sort of exclusionary zone. It also has never truly been accepted by the mainstream either as we don’t see regular conversations about it, and the one’s we do amongst non-gamers are regular negative, ignorant, and superficial.
Comparing it to mediums like movies, and TV and you can see a huge difference in the level of legitimacy. Even those that don’t go to the movies, watch t.v or maybe just don’t see certain types still respect that medium and the people who view it. They are also mediums that are freely talked about by basically any person, every place and profession whereas with games there always seems to be certain barrier within specific places. It’s also something that still, to this day gets a lot of negative comments from those that don’t enjoy it.
And this is where Pokemon Go comes in. With the increased conversation and debate around it in the various media forms. The huge amount, and variety of people playing, and how it is understand and commented on by those that don’t play mean it has the potential to push gaming into a new era of understanding. To maybe persuade and entice new people towards it. To gain a greater amount of attention amongst mainstream media. To maybe gain a greater level of acceptance.
It is phenomenons like this that can change a culture a great deal; like wow before it, those first game consoles and even the how the wii ended up in many non gamers homes and hands. I’m really interested to see how the perception of gaming changes over time due to this now, and where it’s going to go in the future.