2017, Mar 31: TAG "Shinposium" on Pokémon GO

Lai-Tze Fan edited this page Mar 31, 2017 · 4 revisions

March 31, 2017

The Politics and Play of Pokémon GO (Concordia University)

Description of event

Opening talk by Lai-Tze Fan

Opening Notes

  • Jill Didur reflects on previous Shinposium with Teri Reub about the affordances of mass-produced platforms

    • what kinds of commercial products were on the Horizon? Pokémon GO hadn't been released yet
  • Ingress preceded Pokémon GO; anxiety about surveillance, especially women who felt vulnerable about the game bc strangers could track them

  • Adriana de Souza e Silva said she was invited to Mobile Media and Comm for special issue on Pokémon GO and started to pay more attention

    • question of having to predict where the game is going
  • makes short reference to Pokémon GO in Brazil, esp. cell phone theft issue, so people have to go to populated areas for safety

    • "privacy is not the biggest problem there"
  • Bart Simon discusses the anticipation of Pokémon GO by the game community

    • considers what counts as gaming and gamification, especially in comparison to earlier games in which there was no battle or catching element (no challenge)
    • the use of multi-player allowing that challenge
    • but what counts as a game?
  • Adriana references Emoji, a Japanese game in which you'd catch creatures around the city

    • a collection game based on trading which is based on social interaction
    • basically, Pokémon GO is played alone
  • Bart thinks of socialness differently, as an idea of belonging to a community where all people are doing the same thing, even if they don't talk to each other

  • pre-existing distinction between children who play games and others, but children couldn't play Pokémon GO without their parents, so it merged the player scope

  • Mia Consalvo talks about the life of these kinds of games, and cultural "hype" just means that the game is ready for future development

  • Jill adds that the design element probably included a consideration that children shouldn't be interacting with students, so they probably limited that kind of social interaction

    • Adriana adds that there is an element of danger in urban space (that we're technically exposed to all the time but that the game brings up)
  • Bart: "Everything that is interesting about [Pokémon GO] happened as an unintended consequence ... Niantic was absolutely blown away"

    • the "leftovers" of what we're dealing with is that children have moved on
    • what's left for Bart is about unintended consequences, not about the lifespan of Pokémon GO's popularity
  • Mia: "every feature can be weaponized"

    • even a church had signs like "don't come in for Pokémon GO"
  • Lai-Tze mentions the willingness of people to gather even vis-à-vis height of terror in Europe, war zones in Korea, etc.

  • Adriana: an important characteristic of locative media is when they engage you with the space you are in

    • "I was thinking I'd come to Montréal and find some kind of snow Pokémon."
  • Kalervo Sinervo thinks about interactivity that are based on leaving traces; compares it to geocaching

  • Mia on Adriana playing for her son: "You're playing to support someone's play ... so who's really playing?"

  • Bart on multi-generational aspect: young people playing with old people

    • little kids eyeing the big kids eyeing the adults; physically aware of each other
    • you imagine older peoples' lives of people who are not allowed to mix with you, but you know you're all doing the same thing
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