Now that the summer of Pokemon is fading into fall, I find myself wondering how much more the mobile app that conquered the world is going to grace some of the news apps I use. When I am getting more updates on future updates to the game than I am on the impending electoral showdown between Empty Pantsuit and Idiot Billionaire, I know it's a game that's got legs, even in spite of some puzzling attempts by Niantic to fix problems and fixing some problems that didn't exist.
I play Pokemon Go as a family activity. While I don't feel like listing and defending my various geek credits, as far as hanging out with family goes, there could be far worse things than catching little digital monsters on our phones. The game could be credited in many places, I imagine, for revitalizing their communities. Here in southern Indiana, when me and the wife are out, we can tell the large uptick in people puttering about, especially at the Ohio Riverfront, where the Pokemon are plenty (especially that goddamned Magikarp). Whether or not that is translating into increased commerce for the local businesses is a question for another post, the trick is the appearance of more activity.
I recently headed over to the St. Louis area with my best friend, to visit with friends and family, and take in a Cards-Cubs game at Busch Stadium. When I made it home, I was laughing with my wife when I realized I had spent three whole days on the road across Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri without opening the app at all. How in the hell did I manage that? I had briefly thought about checking it during lulls in the game, but then, in the back of my mind, there was that flash of winding up on SportsCenter for missing a homerun or something. Nobody wants to be that guy, not at a major league sporting event. If I'm going to be humiliated over nine dollar beers, it's going to be in a strip club, the way God intended.
Now that Summer is winding down, I wonder if the first day of Autumn tomorrow will be the starting point of Pokemon Go's Winter of Discontent. Schools are back in session, temperatures will start to dip, and with the start of the NFL season, the wind-down of the MLB season, and election coverage, it will be interesting to see how the game's numbers hold up from season to season.
It's also going to be interesting to see how Niantic continues to develop the game. They've had a bit of an uneasy growing period, with complaints over updates, systems failures, and third party apps have taken turns sharing the news about the game. How they handle the heat, as well as how they continue to develop and improve the game will go a long way, I think, in whether the foot traffic continues into the months with snow.
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