Pokemon Go

2 thoughts on “Pokemon Go”

  1. I see this post is over a year old, so maybe you know some of this by now, but the location of the pokestops and gyms were not actually based on any algorithm that is related to Pokemon Go. This game is by a company, Niantic, that has another game called Ingress that’s been around a lot longer and is still going strong. It is also an augmented reality, GPS-based game you play on your phone. It involves 2 teams (factions) playing against each other in what is essentially an endless game of worldwide capture-the-flag. It is extremely social, cooperative, and strategy based. The places all around us that are now Pokemon locations, are such because they were Ingress “portals” first. Niantic just used the same map that was developed over 5 years by the actual players of Ingress and laid Pokemon right over the top of it.

    The other part I thought you might find interesting, is why these places are portals/pokestops/gyms to begin with when some of them seem so inappropriate. There is a fictional backstory in Ingress, and the short version is because “exotic matter” is leaking into the world at certain places called “portals”. Exotic matter subconsciously influences people to gather at these areas where it is most concentrated. People are drawn to places, inspired to create, and to be or do all of the best things that make us a human civilization. So under this influence, and at these portal locations, people gather to create, learn, worship, build, celebrate, and yes, even to mourn. This is why portals are churches, public art, architecture, historical markers signs, graves of important people, and local points of interest. They were submitted to Niantic by the players themselves over the years. When you look at it that way, it makes more sense, doesn’t it?

    Ingress players have been going to these places for almost 5 years, quietly unnoticed most of the time, playing our game. Now, Pokemon players have come along en masse, trampled and disrespected many of theses places, and caused a lot of problems with bad behavior. They are, on average, a much younger crowd. Not that all young people or Pokemon players are badly behaved, just as not all Ingress players are innocent angels. It’s just a different demographic. A year later, a lot of the initial furvor has died down, thankfully, and the Ingress players can continue playing, as we have been all this time.

    Aside from the people I have met playing Ingress, and friendships I’ve made, my favorite part of this game is discovering all of these amazing things all around us that I had never stopped to notice. I have learned an astounding amount of history from the portals and places I’ve visited. I get excited to read historical markers now and I frequently look things up when I get home to learn more about the places I’ve been. It’s fascinating. The reason I even found your wonderful website was because I was googling a place I saw today when I was out playing and stumbled across this. When I saw one of your posts about old mill cemeteries, I thought, “I wonder if he’s written anything about the American Spinning Cemetery,” because I discovered that one through Ingress, and sure enough, you talk about it here. I’m sorry I wrote a novel for a comment, but I love Ingress and the adventures it sends me on, and I have a feeling you’d very much like that aspect, too.

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