Saturday, July 30, 2016

Pokémon Patrol

It's been three-and-a-half weeks since the Pokémon Go game was released, leading to an influx of Pokemongers to one of the sites I am responsible for at work. Because the site was named a Pokémon Gym, I have had to assign my subordinates to work nights to ascertain whether players are stopping by, and if so, how many. More importantly, they are there to dissuade any 'friskier' players from ignoring the 'SITE CLOSED' sign on the gate to the property.

For the most part, the site hasn't been overrun, though on some days over a dozen people have shown up and told that they must come during hours of operation and must pay the entrance fee to come onto the property. Generally speaking, people have been pretty cool. In the meantime, I forwarded the webpage for Pokémon de-infestation to my supervisor. He submitted a request for removal, but due to the volume of requests, it hasn't been processed yet. I was instructed to schedule two more weeks of Pokémon Patrol, and to re-assess the situation at the end of the fortnight. I have to say, my subordinates are happy for the extra hours.

I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the craziness which has accompanied this game, and am bemused by the total lack of forethought put into the game's locations by its developer, which is now promising to be 'more respectful of reality'. It's only been a month, and the disruptions, injuries, and crimes are too manifold to list. I understand the basic appeal of the game, 'gotta catch 'em all' can be an entertaining pastime, I just can't understand the lackadaisical approach to respecting the 'reality' that the game is 'augmenting'.

The problems will eventually be ironed out, and I have to confess that a tangible benefit is accruing to me and my co-workers, but I won't be sad to see our 'gym' decommissioned and to see this craze die down.


mikey said...

It's just a demonstration of the power of being first - what they called in the 90s 'first mover advantage'. All these people have smartphones, and finally there was a free, accessible, easy to use augmented reality game. It could have been anything - the Pokemon concept lent itself to this kind of application, and the developers got there first. In a year or two, there will be thousands of augmented reality games and applications, and while they'll be part of the digital milieu, there will have been other temporary crazes and lots of just plain internet commerce.

I'd also mention that any expectation that the developers had any interest in sheltering people like you and your business from the effects of the game in the real world is naive at best. There was no downside - get the players, get PR, make a splash. I assure you they are much more chagrined at the problems they had keeping up with the demand on the server/data center side...

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I am glad your co-workers are benefiting, and also, it's hilarious.