So if you happen to notice an uptick in strangers standing on the sidewalk pointing their phones toward your house, there’s a reason for it. Yesterday a new augmented reality (AR) game was released called Pokemon GO which will most likely become wildly popular in the coming weeks. The game uses maps of the real world (Google Maps basically) and hides Pokemon around the actual world, almost like a digital version of geocaching. Players must walk around the local area and when they are near a wild Pokemon they then have to use their phone’s camera to look around the real world in order to find and catch the Pokemon (the Pokemon will be superimposed over the live feed coming from the phone’s camera).
Interestingly, I’ve noticed that most of the Pokemon I’ve encountered around Boise so far have been placed “inside” people’s houses. By that I mean once I get a notification that a Pokemon is nearby I end up having to point my phone’s camera toward a stranger’s house in order to see the Pokemon. This feels a little awkward, and I bet anyone looking out their window at a stranger pointing their phone camera toward their house might feel a little uneasy also.
Pokemon GO gives players the option to turn this camera mode off, however it’s marketed as one of the big draws of the game, so I think most people will end up leaving it on, oblivious to the awkward situations it may be creating.
I just wanted to give anyone reading this a heads up. If someone is standing outside your house pointing their phone around, looking like they’re taking a picture, they’re most likely not a thief but a budding Pokemon trainer in the new AR game Pokemon GO. You’ve been warned!