Yesterday, we’ve read and shared 9 articles on our Facebook page about Pokemon Go. As a science and technology page, we read and share dozens of interesting articles every day. However, since yesterday, the Newsfeed has been reporting non stop about this new gaming craze. See the list of articles and snippets below:
1) Nintendo shares soar on Pokemon GO craze, Richard Morgan, July 11
2016, THE NEW YORK POST, http://nypost.com/2016/07/11/nintendo-shares-soar-on-pokemon-go-craze/?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=NYPFacebook&utm_medium=SocialFlow&sr_share=facebook:
Pokémon Go’s massive blastoff as a mobile game pushed Nintendo’s ADRs up 34 percent Monday — adding $9 billion to the video gamer’s valuation over the last few days.
The free game has dominated digital downloads since its US launch on July 6, with 7.5 million users signing up at Apple’s App Store and Google Play, according to SensorTower, an app-analytics company.
SimilarWeb, another app analyzer, reported the game has already eclipsed Tinder in installations on Android phones and is running neck and neck with Twitter in terms of daily active users.
2) What the heck is Pokémon Go? An explainer for the out-of-touch and/or old, Caitlin Dewey, July 11, THE WASHINGTON POST, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2016/07/11/what-the-heck-is-pokemon-go-an-explainer-for-the-out-of-touch-andor-old/?tid=sm_fb:
"Pokémon Go is a (possibly overrated?) augmented-reality game that launched in the United States late last week. In a nutshell, the game lays a sort of semi-transparent Poké-world over your actual, geographical location, which you can explore by physically walking around while staring zombie-like at your screen."
3) Trading is coming soon to Pokemon GO, Sal Basile Jul. 11, GEEK, http://www.geek.com/games/pokemon-go-ceo-teases-trading-in-future-update-1661289/:
"Pokemon GO is taking the world by storm but a major core element essential to the franchise is missing: trading. Even John Hanke CEO of Pokemon GO developer Niantic knows trading is what makes Pokemon go round. In an interview with Business Insider, Hanke said trading would tie in to Pokemon GO’s mantra of encouraging players to interact. He went on to say that a plan to implement some kind of trading aspect is very much on the horizon.”
4) Pokémon Go shouldn’t have full access to your Gmail, Docs and Google account — but it does Devin Coldewey, July 11, TECH CRUNCH, https://techcrunch.com/2016/07/11/pokemon-go-shouldnt-have-full-access-to-your-gmail-docs-and-google-account-but-it-does/?ncid=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+Techcrunch+(TechCrunch)&utm_content=FaceBook&sr_share=facebook:
First of all why does a Pokémon game need full access to your account? Second why aren’t users warned that this is the level they are granting and given a chance to reconsider? And third why didn’t Google say a thing when it happened "Notably, Niantic’s previous AR game, Ingress, only required partial access." like “are you sure you want to give a game about making made-up animals fight access to the confidential documents in your Gmail and Docs?”
5) Drivers are offering to chauffeur Pokémon Go players to hot spots, Why walk when you can ride?, Julia Alexander, Jul 11 2016, POLYGON: http://www.polygon.com/2016/7/11/12152978/pokemon-go-hot-spots-gyms-drivers?utm_campaign=polygon.social&utm_medium=social&utm_content=polygon&utm_source=facebook
On marketplaces like Craigslist, people have begun to offer their services for a hefty fee. In Vancouver, (where the game hasn't even officially launched, but is available through side-loading APKs on Android devices) one driver says they'll pick up drivers at a requested location and drive them around the city. The poster says they've been playing Ingress for about two years, and as such, has an idea of where to go for popular PokéStops and gyms. This particular driver is charging $30 for the first hour and $20 for every hour after that. They will not, however, do anything illegal like stop in the middle of the highway, users must wear seat belts, and they're not speeding.
6) Pokemon Go: Gotta catch all your personal data, If you signed into Pokemon Go with your Google account, you might have just handed your digital life over to the game's developers, Laura Hautala, CNET, JULY 11 2016, http://www.cnet.com/news/pokemon-go-gotta-catch-all-your-personal-data/?ftag=COS-05-10-aa0a&linkId=26452776
The developer of the wildly popular Pokemon Go, Niantic Labs, has full access to your Google account if you used it to log into the game from an iOS device. In response to reports of this all-you-can-eat data buffet, Niantic said in a statement it's drastically limiting the access it requests going forward and that it didn't access anything beyond user IDs and email addresses. "We recently discovered that the Pokémon GO account creation process on iOS erroneously requests full access permission for the user's Google account," the company said in a statement. "Once we became aware of this error, we began working on a client-side fix to request permission for only basic Google profile information, in line with the data that we actually access." But for the time being, the full account permission could give Niantic access to all of your information, as well as the ability to post, delete and send things from your account. In other words, logging in with your Google account is a super effective way to hand over your email, contacts, photos, documents...everything!
7) The top game in China right now is a Pokemon Go clone, Steven Millward, Jul 11, 2016, TECH IN ASIA, https://www.techinasia.com/pokemon-go-clone-china
Everyone seems to be going nuts for Pokemon Go right now – but the game hasn’t rolled out to a number of countries, including China. That might explain why the top free game in China today on the Chinese iOS App Store is a Pokemon Go clone. The knock-off game, City Spirit Go, features a creature in the app icon that looks like Pikachu crossed with a racoon.
8) Pokémon Go is doing what few apps can – driving real-world traffic, Darrell Etherington, JULY 11 2016, TECH CRUNCH, https://techcrunch.com/2016/07/11/pokemon-go-is-doing-what-few-apps-can-driving-real-world-traffic/?sr_share=facebook
Already, people are using the tools made available by Niantic and Nintendo in Pokémon Go to capitalize on the potential for real-world traffic. Forbes contributor Jason Evangelho details how smart business owners are using “Lures,” an in-game item that turns any existing PokéStop into virtual feeding frenzy for players looking to catch Pokémon. But this requires there to already be a PokéStop nearby – so naturally, businesses are already looking to get Niantic to add ones to their locations. Not only Niantic, but Nintendo, too has a history of using the popularity of its products with consumers to drive foot traffic. The Nintendo Zone service offered special downloadable virtual items to players when they connected to specific locations, and Nintendo worked with McDonald’s in Japan and Boingo in the U.S. to provide access to Nintendo’s content free to users.
9) From Pokéstops to Pikachu: everything you need to know about Pokémon Go, The game has been flooding the news and neighbourhoods but for many it seems as silly as it is impenetrable, Clem Bastow, 11 July 2016, THE GUARDIAN, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/11/from-pokestops-to-pikachu-everything-you-need-to-know-about-pokemon-go?CMP=fb_a-technology_b-gdntech:
If you’ve been out and about over the past few days, chances are you’ve seen people frantically swiping their smartphones in front of places of interest, or listened with slight alarm as friends chattered excitedly about how they “caught a Sandshrew behind the supermarket”. You may have wondered: what the heck is happening? The answer is Pokémon Go, the new smartphone game from Nintendo and Niantic Labs. According to data tabled by Digital Vision, two days after the app’s launch, Pokémon Go was installed on 5.16% of Android devices in the US and had roared to the top of the iTunes app store’s free app charts. Nintendo’s stocks are reported to have risen to their highest value since 1983 and demand for the game was so high, with servers crashing regularly, that Amazon’s chief technology officer, Werner Vogels, even offered to share the traffic load.
But what does it all mean for us reading this news in Liberia? A company's valuation increased by almost US $ 10 billion because of a computer game. Apparently, everyone is walking around like a zombie trying to catch computer game characters on their screen that shows a virtual character embossed on a real view of the world through the device's camera. Urban spaces and other companies are riding the craze by offering cab services and hot spots in cafes. And, disturbingly, the game gets full access to one's e-mail account.
It would be easiest to say news of this game bears no relevance for us in Liberia but not entirely correct because a significant portion of the population has a mobile connection and, even has a simple smart phone. Almost everyone is on Facebook and other social media platforms. I often see youngsters and even marketeers playing a video game on their phones. Selfies and posing for group photographs are loved in Liberia. Addiction to mobile technology is common everywhere and, changing the way we interact with our world, our friends, and even how we communicate. Am I little glad, though, that no Pokemon Go craze will catch here soon? Yes.
Living in Liberia, one sometimes envies the latest technological progress elsewhere: better public transportation, medical innovations that battle disease and treat illnesses better, greener urban spaces, newest gadget to convert garbage to energy, interactive museums, digital access to art and history, etc.
Do I wish I had Netflix? More apps to automate my life or useless devices? Selfie sticks? A Kindle? Another tablet besides my laptop and smart phone (already too many devices)? No.
Social media, apps and hyper connectivity has not really made our lives more enriched. In fact, even grown up adults have sacrificed etiquette, art of conversation, and the virtue of patience because of their addiction to their phones. It seems society has not paused to reflect on how much has changed and, what we are losing at lightening speeds. Unless there is a technology out there that will actually improve the lives of Liberians, I am not envious at all.