You know what’s big right now? Nostalgia factor. At least with my demographic of late 20 something’s and early 30’s. Make something from our childhood and we go crazy, whether it’s a game, movie, tv show or merch.
Pokemon Go does just that. And it’s for the one game system that everyone has. That’s right, a smart phone. It’s free too. This just gets better and better
The unfolding game
Pokemon Go should be treated as an unfolding game. That’s the kind of game where not everything is explained at the beginning because a big part of the game is discovering how it works, the mechanics, yourself.
Pokemon gives you a brief description and then let’s you go. Having to discover the mechanics on your own builds the sense of adventure. It also allows players to collaborate. I’ve talked with so many people about leveling up, eggs, catching Pokemon, battles and gyms. It really builds a sense of community.
If you need more examples of unfolding games, play A Dark Night. Probably available at your app store for free.
It’s crazy to think that this game couldn’t have come out at any time previous than now. I mean, it uses Google Maps, GPS location and the fact that most everyone readily has access to both via handy pocket devices.
Games (and many more things) are limited by the available technologies. Or enhanced. Pokemon Go takes advantage of modern technology and creates a game, using these technologies as core game mechanics.
It’s like, if all you had was a stick, then you’d make games involving a stick, creating plots and mechanics, that al revolve around a stick. (A stick is in the Toy Hall of Fame fyi).
It’s opened a new genre, Augmented Reality, or AR.
Nintendo has often tried new technologies in their games. I remember Kirby’s Tilt and Tumble, the introduction of touch screens on the DS and WiFi playing, replacing cords. I remember the Wii broke ground with motion controls and I dare say the GameBoy was the first handheld game system. It makes sense that Nintendo would try something daring and new.
I think we’ll see more AR games. People will see the success and make, or maybe even improve, on the mechanics of real-life locations.
But what will happen to Pokemon Go? Will it fade away like Clash Royale? Just get boring with the same old, same old?
I think there’s a balance of unfolding that keeps our attention. I played Ingress for a bit and in like manner, it leaves you to discover. But Ingress was new to me and I had no familiar ground, from which to learn and discover.
Pokemon Go, however, starts with the base of capturing, training and battling Pokemon. We have a foundation and from there we learn and expand and discover. The game unfolds.
So basically, Nintendo balances these aspects, the familiar with the unfamiliar to make an engaging and adventurous game, but not a frustrating or confusing one.
Despite a new genre taking advantage of new technologies, Nintendo reminds us that content is still always more important than any advancement in any technology.
Lastly, I hope there’s an update because this game has more bugs than Viridian Forest.
Thomas Rowley started playing Pokemon in 6th grade with Pokemon Gold. He caved to peer pressure in high school and renounced Pokemon. He has since then repented and plays Pokemon with no shame.