Bonnie Nardi,Anne Allison,Neriko Musha Doerr,Debra J. Occhi,Elle Santry,Paul Manning

The Augmented Reality of Pokémon Go

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What happens when a group of people see things that others do not and begin acting accordingly? The Augmented Reality of Pokémon GO: Chronotopes, Moral Panic, and Other Complexities explores this question by examining what happened after Pokémon GO, a smartphone augmented reality game, was released in July, 2016. The game overlaid the world of Pokémon onto the “real” physical world, drawing 30 million players in the first two weeks. Pokémon GO has created new ways of sensing the environment, reading things around us, walking the street, and dwelling in certain areas, i.e., inhabiting the world. Through detailed text analyses of the game and auto-ethnographies of the contributing authors’ experiences playing the game analyzed from anthropological perspectives, this volume provides nuanced analyses of this new way of relating to the world: the augmented reality world of Pokémon GO. Each chapter focuses on specific aspects of this new experience of the world: the cosmology of the world of Pokémon and the multifaceted ways we relate to our environment through Pokémon GO; the notion of space and time in Pokémon GO and its interface with that of real world as it guides our actions; the phenomenology of Pokémon GO in urban walking with its complex relationships to public space, “nature” as constructed through modernity, cell phone infrastructure, and urban landscapes where insects, animals, birds, human, history, transportation infrastructure, and trash all intermingle to create its ambiance; and the game’s link to the wider social issue as it gets appropriated for “friendly authoritarian” goals of civil society, imposing various ideologies and accruing commercial gains. Through “participant observation” —all contributors have been avid Pokémon GO players themselves—this volume offers snapshots of the Pokémon GO effect from its initial stage as a social phenomenon to Spring 2018.
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241 printed pages

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