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How Could Pokemon Go Breed Activist Go?

All across America this weekend, people walked out of their homes with their smartphones in hand, looking for strange creatures and nodes of power that were hidden to everyone except those who had downloaded the Pokemon Go app. People who didn’t know each other otherwise met on street corners, sharing the bond of the augmented reality game, coming together to… flick imaginary balls across their screens.

It was a weird weekend that showed that technology can be used to bring people together in real life, not just on the Internet… for completely pointless acts, indulging in nothing but in their own entertainment.

Outside my window, I watched neighbors pace up and down the sidewalk, gaining points, for no larger social point

I recognize the appeal of the Pokemon Go. It expands a video game out beyond the confines of an electronic screen. It is disengaged from the world, and yet engaged with it. It is transcendent… but it is also fairly silly.

The question that this weekend’s mass Pokemon Go experience leaves me wondering about is how this same kind of technology might be put to constructive social use.

If someone invented such a system, would you want to take part in it?

2 thoughts on “How Could Pokemon Go Breed Activist Go?”

  1. Jim Cook says:

    Heck, yeah.

    1. Horatio says:

      I’m thinking something like, but with augmented reality…. but with people doing real activist work instead of just wandering around and flicking… like beach cleanups, street marches, pickets, visits to congressional representatives’ offices, etc.

      Does anyone know if there’s any kind of open source software that could be used to set this up?

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