Sunday, August 07, 2016

Pokemon Go: An Observation

While travelling across country this summer, we've been fascinated to watch how Pokemon Go manifests different community to community. In some, players were sitting around in a park, chatting with each other; in the next, exact same circumstances but here all the people were ignoring each other! How one ignores someone standing next to you playing the exact same game and not start a conversation about it confuses me.

In some communities, people arrived at a park or museum or whatever would look up from their phones and say, ‘hey, that looks interesting’ and go explore; while in another community with similarly engaging locale, nobody looked up from their phones to see where they were. The difference between player groups community to community was striking!

Similarly, we saw staff at one railway museum shooing kids away from their lawn; at the park in next community official welcomed everybody, gave tips on which path to go for best catches, just asked one player to put cigarette out in receptacle rather than flowerbed. (Seemed fair comment to me.) These all seemed sponteous acts, not a matter of policy.

There’s a sociological article about community cultures in there somewhere, but I’m sure somebody is already writing it.