I have not liked a bit of it, Pokemon invading my privacy without any intimation or invitation. When I picked my Honda BRV a few days back and was driving past Shivaji Ground, one of them was sitting on my shoulder where the seat belt is plugged on, one was at the park staring at me and the worst of all yesterday one was in the bathroom, now that was taking things too far.
Meanwhile, even before the game is officially launched, my daughter has been playing it The last one she pouched by targeted ‘Pokeballs’ from outside while I was taking bath, one more into her ‘Pokedeck’.
I can understand what is happening. It is the fun and the excitement. The new era of Augmented reality. Many gamers have given the craze ( a fad in my definition) some 14 months to die. I sincerely hope they are correct. However, I know that something next will be around the corner which will be far more lethal.
So, if the smoker spouse can claim damages from Cigarette companies. Can the relatives of a person killed playing the game, sue pokemon company? No, you don’t see the parallel, and I will agree. I am not sure how long it will be before we hear a case like that.
The advertising fraternity has got a lever for the next Cannes. Many creative directors are thinking to adapt the Marlboro man ‘smoking kills’ to hazards
so, if we see signs like these, we should not be surprised.
I would want to know, who owns the space, and does being in the Virtual Reality space gives Pokemon diplomatic immunity. Does the company have the right to invade spaces and create power zones and Pokemon Hubs? Can they use the server and invade the places of religious significance and public property captured?
If I as a normal business entity was to seek permission for doing any such thing, you know how would I have tied myself in knots. But then, there are hardly laws there to protect. Laws always have a lag with significant changes in the environment. This is no different.
So when Priyan in his article shares the headlines that should not surprise us.
• Man crashing his car onto a tree distracted by the game.
• 2 men fall over a fence in San Diego trying to capture Pokemons.
• Man in New Zealand quits full-time job to play game.
• Teens in Florida shot at while searching for Pokemons.
• Teens stuck below 100 ft caves while playing game.
I am shocked how easily we are adapting to the new-found addiction, an intoxicating combination of GPS technology with Augmented reality.
It has all the things going right. It is a technology marvel. It deploys the secret learning from Loyalty points, where people keep accumulating them. The excitement and the challenge is too tempting. The leadership ladder and the levels of expertise you could climb to a bait that most of us will bite. Moreover, it makes players feel like ‘Saving the planet earth’ from ‘Invasion of Pokemon’.
Now when one is up against such a phenomenon, it is also likely that some amount of laughter will be a result of this craze. Look at this sign—oh not the real one I suppose.
What new avatar will we see this technology is restricted by the imagination. One may be okay with Sunny visiting you, but to have RaGa or PrGaVa or NaMo suddenly meeting you unexpected in this virtual world during the coming UP election or the next general election maybe too much to digest.
Think of JAT or PATEL agitation now in the virtual world. Will it see the new version of a rejuvenated ‘SecondLife’? Will new Cyber Laws be needed, and royalty paid for use of public spaces? Or like the China Sea, it will always remain controversial.
And that is not the only reason I hate Pokemon. If TV and Mobile were disturbing the social fabric by non-engagement, this has a potential to take it many notches higher. Maybe we are finally nearing the Matrix stage, if these Augmented Reality characters gain artificial Intelligence. The thought is not too inspiring.
And yes, here is the Business angle.And it meets the eye with Prabhakar Mundkur thought that the opportunity to business is purely hypothetical at this moment.