July 2016 marks the release of Nintendo’s first mobile game: Pokemon Go. And boy has it been a remarkable success.

With the use of augmented reality, developer Niantic Labs (creators of Ingress) have finally built the livable dream we’ve all been wanting since playing through Pokemon Red and Blue: to be a real Pokemon master. Saddled with your Pokedex and truly catch them all.

Pokemon Go is a game that lives with you. An aspect of the game involves you collecting eggs only to have them hatch by counting your steps and the distance you’ve traveled. Much like a Fitbit or Samsung Health. Or I guess you could just shake it or strap it to your dog.

But physical steps are needed to be taken to advance different mechanics of the game. The game becomes something that lives in the back of your mind, allowing you to go about your day, then suddenly a reminder that it exists. You leap into your pocket or purse to pull your phone out to see if there’s a Pikachu or Diglett near by.

It’s no longer something that you do in idle time waiting for your bus stop or your break to end. It becomes apart of your day.

Cell phones have helped bring video games to millions of people and as such a new design was created: a game that lives. A game that forces you to not play it either by location or by a timer  begging you to come back later to play.

It’s an interesting idea. A game that makes you wait, to come back at a later time, to do something other than focus on the game itself. It’s unknown territory and according to Nintendo, this design works.

What would your game look like if you design it to live with someone rather than force them to focus on it?

Maybe something wonderful?

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Eric M Hunter

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