Links for July 15, 2016

What Is Pokemon Go?

We can have it both ways; we have to, even: Pokémon Go can be both a delightful new mechanism for urban and social discovery, and also a ghastly reminder that when it comes to culture, sequels rule. It’s easy to look at Pokémon Go and wonder if the game’s success might underwrite other, less trite or brazenly commercial examples of the genre. But that’s what the creators of pervasive games have been thinking for years, and still almost all of them are advertisements.

AR is an MMO – Raph's Website

You are the client. You are the avatar. Your real life is what is being used for your friends list, location, chat system… all those things that you used to think of as packaged up behind an avatar, a false front. Sure, the fact is that smartphones have been gradually eating all your privacy and you’ve cheerfully given it up in order to get better directions and nifty alerts about traffic and so on. So this has been happening for a while. And yet.


We (and I’m speaking loosely about a collection of people in the games, internet and mobile industry who’re a combination of people-who-work-in-that-area, colleagues and close friends), knew this was going to happen.... We were the people building alternate reality games with real-world elements marveling at the people we could get to run from one place to another. But. Mostly, we were all too early.

Warning: Pokemon GO is a Death Sentence if you are a Black Man.

I spent less than 20 minutes outside. Five of those minutes were spent enjoying the game. One of those minutes I spent trying to look as pleasant and nonthreatening as possible as I walked past a somewhat visibly disturbed white woman on her way to the bus stop. I spent the other 14 minutes being distracted from the game by thoughts of the countless Black Men who have had the police called on them because they looked “suspicious” or wondering what a second amendment exercising individual might do if I walked past their window a 3rd or 4th time in search of a Jigglypuff.

373621 – File upload set mime type as application/download instead of application/pdf

By the way, if you appreciate irony, note that Zvi Har’El, who analyzed this bug 9 years ago (see above), is my father. He unfortunately died 8 years ago, and today I ran into the same bug. My daughter already reached the age that she started to use Firefox too, so soon she’ll probably run into this bug too, and this will have become a 3-generation bug…