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Six Pokémon Go meet-ups in Canberra this week

By Kim Huynh - 14 July 2016 10

PokemonGo

It’s the app that’s captured Canberra and the world. In less than a fortnight, more people are searching for exotic pocket monsters than they are for love and companionship via Tinder. If it hasn’t done so already, Pokémon Go will soon knock Twitter off its perch in terms of user numbers.

The Pokémon franchise plays upon the popular Japanese pastime of bug catching. Pokémania first struck in the late 1990s via Nintendo computer games and now incorporates books, comics, toys, TV shows, movies and – as so many parents and teachers know/dread – trading cards.

With Pokémon Go, the franchise has moved from the imaginary world into our actual one. Using the cameras and GPS function in our smartphones, we are compelled to move around in real life and time pursuing Pokémon in the game.

Here’s what many fans and critics say about Pokemon Go.

Why I love Pokémon Go

I played Pokémon when I was a kid and had a card collection. Now I’m stoked to be able to see and interact in real life with the monsters that I know so well.

The game really does augment my reality. Suddenly, I’m a tourist and adventurer in my own town. I’m going to landmarks, playgrounds, wetlands, bars, shops and offices, many of which have become Pokéstops. I’m meeting people at Pokémon Go events and am ever eager to discuss how I’ve built up and trained my stable of monsters.

I know that there are drawbacks and dangers. Indeed, the game constantly warns you to watch where you’re going. Accidents have occurred, but when millions of people do anything there’s bound to be mishaps.

It’s a game. It’s fun. It’s free. It’s the future. And it’s only going to get better! Soon it will incorporate a multiplayer function so that our monsters can battle against one another. And the Pokémon Go Plus wristband will tell us when monsters are nearby so that we don’t have to have our phones out all of the time. We’ll enjoy the best of both worlds, in one.

PokemonGoPlus

Why I loathe and fear Pokémon Go

This app diminishes our reality and degrades us as people.

Are we really connecting with anything or anyone through Pokémon Go? It’s just another distraction, a way for people to stare into little screens instead of truly engaging with their surrounds and one another. For every hour that we spend playing this game, we lose an hour of our lives.

Already the game has led youth to sordid and morbid places. One young person in the US discovered a corpse while she was on the Pokémon Go. And there’s a report of robbers using the app to lure hapless victims.

What will happen when players are able to meet so that their virtual monsters can fight? Invariably the ultra-competitiveness and violence that’s promoted in the game will spill over into real life.

Pokémon Go is unimaginative, both in terms of the developers and the players. What does it say about our culture when ideas and products from the not so recent past are constantly revived or rebooted? What capacity or drive is there for true innovation and creativity? What does it say about our civilisation that people constantly seek to revisit adolescent fads and find themselves trapped within their childhood fantasies?

It’s time to grow up and get real.

There are a series of Pokemon Go-related events on around town in coming days, starting with Reload Bar & Games’s Pokepartybus tour at 5.45 tonight: Check the event out on Facebook
Book tickets via Eventbrite

From 8.30pm tonight, there’s a lure party at Questacon: See Facebook for details

Mr Wolf will host a Pokemon Go party with lures from 10pm this evening too: See Facebook event for more.

At noon on Saturday, Pokemon Go players will gather at Lake Tuggeranong: Details here.

The most popular event so far based on sign-ups on Facebook is the Pokémon hunt at 12pm on Sunday at Canberra’s Legislative Assembly. At the time of writing around 3,900 people/trainers/avatars registered their interest in the event, with 1,400 others saying that they would attend.

See the Facebook event page for more.

The Old Bus Depot Markets at Kingston are going Pokemon Go crazy on Sunday as well, setting up lure modules every 30 minutes. Click here for details.


What do you make of Pokémon Go? Are you a fan or a critic? What does it say about us, our times, our reality and where we are going?

Kim Huynh teaches international relations at the ANU. He’s only a level 2 Pokémon trainer, but is hoping to expand his Pokédex with some more stardust and effort. 

What’s Your opinion?


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10 Responses to
Six Pokémon Go meet-ups in Canberra this week
Mordd 4:56 pm 17 Jul 16

Looking for a handful of volunteers to participate in a public fun event to be filmed and put on social media, taking advantage of the pokemon craze. If you are creative and like to have fun contact me on ” editor[at]mordd-indymedia[dot]com ” and I will give you more details!

Mordd 12:55 pm 15 Jul 16

ozmaniac said :

Maya123 said :

…. just be careful not to stray onto acutal private property, especially in the parliamentary triangle area, they really do not like that.

Where is this private property in the parliamentary triangle?

The gardens next to old parliament house are closed off at night, as are some other areas that are open during the daytime. There is also lots of locations around the nearby embassies across commonwealth avenue, with even more gated areas not accessible in that area. I played Ingress across a large swathe of that general area at 2-4am when it first came out.

pink little birdie 12:21 pm 15 Jul 16

Maya123 said :

Well Ingress set the bar for this, but Pokemon is blowing it out of the water.

Ingress was only available to android players, was invite only for a long while and a game undergoing continual development.
Nintendo tends to put out much more complete games and tends to be a lot more.
I do believe ingress was the base of pokemon go (portals became poke stops or gyms)

HenryBG 11:01 am 15 Jul 16

Maya123 said :

…. just be careful not to stray onto acutal private property, especially in the parliamentary triangle area, they really do not like that.

Where is this private property in the parliamentary triangle?

Kim Huynh 9:58 pm 14 Jul 16

Gazket, I think ‘Pokémon’ combines ‘Pocket’ and ‘Monster’.

Grail

“People have been nostalgic for the joys of their youth as long as people have existed. Nothing new there.

It is not Pokemon that has people “trapped in childhood fantasies” it is being human that has people trapped in particular states.”

It’s a fair point but I think the internet has made a major difference to cultural nostalgia and production. Having immediate access to such a range of music, art, fashion etc is wonderful. But it arguably makes for churn and militates against change/innovation/progress/growing up. So think of the differences in fashion or music in the twentieth century between any twenty year period and they strike me as distinctively different: 1960s vs 1980s, 1930s vs 1950s. But has anything really changed in terms of culture or pop culture (which I know better) since the 1990s and the internet?

In that vein, Pokemon comes out in the 1990s and keeps coming back in different iterations. In some ways, we perhaps really have come to the end of history. K

gazket 9:04 pm 14 Jul 16

“The Pokémon franchise plays upon the popular Japanese pastime of bug catching”

A Pokémon is a bug. After all these years I now know what a Pokémon is .

Thank you Riotact !

Mordd 6:23 pm 14 Jul 16

Well Ingress set the bar for this, but Pokemon is blowing it out of the water.

For those keen players, I would recommend the sculpture area next to the Portrait Gallery and along the lakefront, lots of locations around there were Ingress portals and I presume there are a large variety of different pokemon in close proximity to catch around there.

Also yes the AFP/APS are fairly nice once you explain why you are traipsing around national tourist attractions at 4am in the morning, just be careful not to stray onto acutal private property, especially in the parliamentary triangle area, they really do not like that.

Good luck to all the keen Pokemoners (is that a word?) its not my game but Ingress was great for my mental health and getting exercise, its good to see something inspiring even more ppl. Go catch em all I say and please be nice to all your fellow players, especially the non-gamer types and kids!!

Innovation 3:52 pm 14 Jul 16

Already I have spent a good couple of hours quality time outside playing this game with my child. We didn’t sit in different rooms and we got to talk about all sorts of things we otherwise wouldn’t have. I’ve never played pokemon so I’m still learning. I can see the risks of attracting criminal elements but I hope they can be addressed. If takeup rates continue it will give even more massive amounts of data to Google and Nintendo which is not necessarily a good thing.

And I might be naive but I wonder if anything has been to avoid the risk of uncontrolled crowd movements and gatherings like crowd crushes, traffic snarls or even affecting load ratings of structures (such as groups rushing to one side of a ferry to catch a rare water pokemon).

Grail 3:15 pm 14 Jul 16

People have been nostalgic for the joys of their youth as long as people have existed. Nothing new there.

It is not Pokemon that has people “trapped in childhood fantasies” it is being human that has people trapped in particular states. Is the property owner in a business shareholder group who gets greedy and starts raising the rent on their business a better person than the Pokemon Trainer who seeks the company of other like-minded individuals?

Other people gather to discuss cars, books, or religion. We do not mock these people for wasting hours of their lives. Why is that?

pink little birdie 1:37 pm 14 Jul 16

They said the exact same thing about ingress – which was quite popular on this forum when it first came out.

People are enjoying an activity and getting outside and walking. Often in groups.

Also I’m not really sure why finding a body that early reports were calling accidental death is a criticism.

The Canberra 3ds club is going to be sadly low on numbers this weekend due to the Pokemon Walk (pokemon games are quite popular in the 3ds club) .

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