Playing Pokémon Go may not seem terribly exciting, and it’s many months too late to be hip. But I’d never played it, as the attempt to create an account during the initial craze failed due to overloaded servers. And I had to wait for a train anyway, so this seemed to be as good a use of my time as any other.
Install and start finding Pokémon
Installation was obviously painless, although at 82MB slightly bigger than expected. Signing up was easy too, quick a tap on Google account icon, with no additional details needed. The app does require quite a lot of access to services on the one, including location information, photo and video, which are all obvious. I’m not entirely sure why the app required access to contacts, but it wouldn’t work without it.
Signed up and logged in, it was time to start finding Pokémon. Interestingly, there is very little tutorial-like information, and the developers have left it up to the user to discover the different parts of the game. To get you hooked immediately, a charming little Charmander popped up immediately.
The commute home
For once the train was actually moving faster than walking pace, so it wasn’t really possible to catch much along the way. We slowed down enough to be able to catch the odd Pidgey. After a while, it gets a bit boring, with not much to be seen beside Pidgeys, Slowpoke and a lot of Rattatas. I’ll keep up with it for a bit more, but so far it’s less exciting than last year’s madness would have led me to believe.
There is something quite captivating about the way the map works as an example of augmented reality. I think there’s something there in the way the world collapses into an accessible interface. I wouldn’t be surprised if a similar interface pops up as a way to visualize local information on a mobile device. Pokémon Go is probably not going to be something I play a lot. It has got me thinking, so that’s good enough for today.