Monday, July 11, 2016

Gotta Catch 'em All

So this is how viral happens.

First you read a cryptic reference to some sort of game your nephews played back in the 90s. Then you see an article from some tech blog that a friend shared on facebook. Next your nephew tells you that his other 50-something aunt has been playing the game. In addition, he seems unusually excited about going down to the city waterfront for lunch and shopping, mentioning something about water Pokemon.

On the way there, your mother-in-law shares an anecdote she heard on the Today Show about some hackers who used the app to lure a guy to a vacant parking lot to beat him up and rob him. "Ha, ha!" you quip, "he was Pokemugged!"

But, not long after that, frustrated by your nephew's inability to figure out how to find and catch a Pokemon that he insists is, "right here, somewhere!" and his misguided attempt to save battery by refusing to brighten his phone screen, you download the app yourself, and suddenly you notice all these people staring at their phones, randomly flicking their index fingers, because you are doing it, too.

On the way back to the car a young man stops across the street from you, pointing and laughing in delight. You look up from your screen just in time to hear him shout, "Are you playing Pokemon Go? For realzzz!!?"

Later that evening, both your local news website and NPR have lengthy pieces about the phenomenon, but you just skim them, because you need to level up to five so you can get to the gym. Whatever that means,

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