Mobile games Pokemon Go released in the USA on 5 July for a week and became one of the most downloaded apps on Android and iPhone in the world. Psychologists offer their explanation of this sudden “pokemon craze”.
We play video games for different reasons. One like the game”sandbox” where you can build a whole world with its history and characters that captivate other shooting games, where you can let off steam. The Agency Quantic Foundry, which specialize on game Analytics, I’ve identified six types of motivation of players that must be present in a successful game: action, social experience, skill, immersion, creativity, achievement.
Pokemon Go, I think, entirely meets them. After installing the app the player starts to see the “pocket monsters” (the so stands for the word pokemon in the title) using your smartphone camera, as if they were walking down the streets or flying across the room. They can catch, train, arrange fights pokemon with other players. It would seem that this is enough to explain the success of the game. But the extent of entrainment (20 million users in the U.S. only) and a large number of adult players suggests that there are other, deeper reasons.
Pokemon universe, besides humans and ordinary animals, inhabited by creatures that have intelligence, magical abilities (like fire breathing or teleportation) and the ability to evolve. So, from the little bug with training, you can grow a real live tank with water cannons. In the beginning all this was done by comic book heroes and cartoons, and fans could only empathise with them on the other side of the screen or book pages. With the advent of the era of video games, the audience are able to transform into a pokémon trainer.
Augmented reality technology places virtual characters in the familiar environment.
Pokemon Go has taken another step toward blurring the boundaries between the real world and the world created by our imagination. Augmented reality technology places virtual characters in the familiar setting. They wink out of the corner, hiding in the bushes and on tree branches, trying to jump directly into the bowl. And the interaction with them makes them even more real and, against all common sense, makes us believe in a fairy tale.
Back to childhood
Children’s feelings and impressions are so strongly imprinted in our psyche that echoes in our actions, likes and dislikes can be detected many years later. Nostalgia became a powerful engine of pop culture is the number of successful remakes of comics, movies and children’s books do not count.
For many of today’s players pokemon is an image from my childhood. They followed the adventures of teenager ash, who with his friends and pet Pikachu (electric pokemon that has become the hallmark of the entire series) traveled the world, learned to make friends, to love and to care for others. And of course, to win. “Hopes, dreams and fantasies that are flooding our consciousness along with the familiar images – the source of the strongest feelings of affection,” explains Jamie Madigan, author of “Understanding gamers: the psychology of video games and their impact on people.”
Search for “their”
But the desire to return to childhood does not mean that we would again become weak and helpless. Rather, it is an escape from a cold, unpredictable world to another – warm, filled with care and affection. “Nostalgia is the appeal not only to the past but to the future, says clay Routledge, a psychologist at the University of North Dakota (USA). We are looking for a way to others, to those who share with us our experience, our feelings and memories. To their”.
For the desire of players to take refuge in the virtual world hides a craving for the very real needs that they are trying to meet in real life.
Ultimately for the desire of players to take refuge in the virtual world hides a craving for the very real needs that they are trying to meet in real life – such as the need to be in contact with other people. “In augmented reality you are just doing – you can tell others about their success, compete with each other to show off their collections,” explains marketing Russell Belk.
According to Russell Protein in the future we cease to perceive the virtual world as something ephemeral, and our feelings about the events in it will be for us just as important as feelings about the actual events. Our “advanced “I” – our mind and body, all that we possess, all our social relations and roles gradually absorbs and what is in the digital “cloud,”2. Will the pokemon our new Pets, like cats and dogs? Or, on the contrary, we learn to appreciate those who can embrace, to stroke, to feel their warmth. Only time will tell.