It looks like as if it was yesterday , when I opened a tiny plastic bag from where I extracted one of the most rare Pokémon cart of all the history of times.
I was as a manga convention, my first and last one. I had no clue on how to play the Pokémon card game, but we went together with our parents. We obviously lost at the first round.
Cause we were just watching the cartoons and playing with our GameBoys, but we had simply no clue what to do with our card, other then collect them.
Then after our epic failure, we went to one of the stoles that was selling gadgets and I decided to buy one of my first Pokémon Card pack. I think there were 7 in each pack.
And a violet card portraying Mewto appeared.
At that time, we are talking of the 1st generation of Pokémon. There were 151 and that was is.
That became A THING at school and everybody tried to exchange that card with me. After a long while, peer pressure got in the way – but I was also feeling quite bad for these kids wanting my card so much – that I decided to exchange it for 5 different cards. I totally lost, cause that card was seriously rare, but I could not care, as I pretty much I do now, regarding the Pokémon Go game.
I must say that I tried to download it. But I have an old phone and probably it does not support it that well. It took me forever to create the profile, and even more to re-open the app all the times. And all the times I was in front of a Pokémon, BUM, it cracked.
So, since I had not used, and I was at Beyoncé concert, I decided to delete the app so to get more space for the possible snaps and videos I could have done at the concert.
And this is my direct experience with Pokémon Go.
I wish everything could end here, though although I do not have it, it still exist in the life of all people around me, or most of them.
My closest colleague just managed to get a new phone from her insurance company after she got her own phone stolen. She got straight into Pokémon Go! . She came to work walking because she wanted to catch Pokémons instead of actually arriving on time at work, biking. We started talking about this over lunch and I was obviously supporting the thesis that it is a complete disconnection from reality.
It´s specific terminology is AR Game, aka Augmented Reality Game. That´s to say: there is more reality than what´s there. But, de facto, there is no more reality added other than the fact that something appears on your phone screen.
Furthermore, you totally de-touch from reality. Linda tried to defends herself saying that people goes out more the city, but in reality it just increase the number of people being in the streets an be totally careless of rules. People have illegally entered private properties or , dangerously, constructions sites. And they do not check traffic lights or respect traffic rules while on their hunts. They stare at their screen, and most probably they are unaware of where they are located. They do not look up and notice the beautiful buildings or stare at people faces. They follow what their phone says. And I do not think this can be called Augmented Reality, but more Alternative Reality, an alternative to the one we are living, where the actual being being present are erased to be substituted with digitalised inhabitants.
And this is, to me, scary.
Me and Linda walked home together, but we were three, not two. Me, her and her phone, that probably, maybe could be counted as 1 piece. On our way we she got 3 Pokémons. We had to stop from walking, and from the outside ( I was also looking myself from the outside in this occasion), we looked like two absolute retarded people, stopping in the street, and maybe changing path, just to catch Pokémon that, anyway, she had already. So our conversation had to get interrupted a couple of times, or switched into the Pokémon topic.
I am so curious to know what will happen in a couple of months, if people will keep running around like sheep or people will start getting bored. It is however creating a clear precedent and suggestion on how gaming and tech is influencing our life.