Pokemon Go – What games are all about

Pokemon Go was recently released in Canada to much fan fare. The game takes place in augmented reality and is everything a game should be.

The hook of the game is that you have to move to play it. You can’t sit at home and play, you have to walk around. Thousands of people are getting off their ass and going outside to play a game, and they are having fun doing it.

On my train ride home I saw professionals of all stripes chasing virtual monsters instead of starting off into space as they usually do. On my running route, the same one that I’ve been running for years, I saw hundreds of people out in the park, walking around with their cellphones, catching pokemon. Not only that, but they are learning about their city. The locations in the game are tied to real locations in the world. Public art, important buildings, transit locations are all locations in the game. Today I found a fountain in a downtown park I didn’t know was there.

Health Canada can only dream of activity numbers like that. Imagine if Parks Canada had an app that had kids searching our national parks and playing games outside.

People having fun and sharing a common experience is why I play games. Augmented reality has a bright future ahead of it.