Tuesday, August 2, 2016

....enjoying the latest techno-trends....

Dear Niantic,

Let me introduce myself.  I am the curmudgeon who gripes and complains about the mindless mobs of manic gamers roaming the streets of my town.  I am the one who uses words and phrases like "durned whippersnappers" and "uppity upstarts" when referring to those who play your game.
I am also the one who could become your single best weapon in terms of planning the PR campaign for your next update/release of Poke-whatever....

No.  Seriously.   Stop laughing so hard.

I know I can barely figure out how to answer the incoming calls on my cell phone.
I know I am the one who still insists on writing paper checks and using envelopes and stamps to pay her bills.
And yes, I am the one human left on the planet  who still has a land line.

Which makes me the perfect consultant for your next product launch.
You see, us techno-grumps have a unique skill set that you need. 
It's called "vision killing" and it will save you countless hours of company time and untold millions in corporate profits as I help you avoid bad publicity and lawsuits associated with the release of your products.

Had you hired me before the launch of your latest, hottest techno-trend I could have helped you with the following situations as they triggered my inner "grump-o-meter".....

Had I been allowed to see that you had (inadvertently, I'm sure) placed Poke stops at places like Arlington National Cemetery or the Holocaust Museum, my in-born, over driven sense of appropriateness would have immediately sounded the alarm and begged you to re-consider that option.

If I had but known in advance that you had alarmingly confused "open to the public" and "public space" (again, honest mistake, I am assuming), I could have helped you locate and apply the legal definitions of public vs private property, trespassing, and personal responsibility.

I would like to make you an offer you can't refuse:
Hire me.

OK.....stop laughing......again....

Hire me to be the one who Poke-holes all your ideas before they hit the www.

Hire me to remind you of all the pitfalls and problems that come when you don't Poke-check in with all the private business, organizations, property owners and individuals that were not allowed the option of having Poke-thingys on  their lands or persons.

Hire me to help you remember that while you are Poke- possibly contributing a good thing to society, it should never be at the cost of respect and common decency.

Hire me because it will be less expensive than negative PR and the lawsuits you will surely face.

Hire me because I could use the money, and you could obviously use the help of a few curmudgeons.

Hire me, because, while I am all for more family time, exercise, fresh air and foot traffic directed towards some of my favorite non-profits, I do think we can try to achieve these goals without stomping on everyone's Poke-toes in the name of progress and entertainment.

'cause I didn't miss the Poke-class on that ;)


  1. Niantic had (has) another game called Ingress as well as a neat "personal tour" app called Field Trip. Both of these are also location based and have been around for a few years. Why does this matter? Because Google used the data from Ingress to find interesting places that were friendly to walking (opposed to driving).

    Ingress began by mapping all fire stations, libraries and post offices and placing a game spot (portal) on each one. Then, gradually, more portals were added to the game through a laborious submission process. Eventually, the Ingress app added an easy way to submit any location in seconds from your phone. And the portals blew up! Many of them interesting, some of them inappropriate (cemeteries).

    Pokemon Go used the data from Ingress to place their game spots. You are correct, they should have trimmed their list of locations better. Much better. A lot of the garbage portals in Ingress have been removed, but not all. Ingress attracts players who are typically in their 20's and up. Pokemon Go attracts children.

    1. Children are more likely to play their game on someone's yard or burial site than adults.
    2. There are MANY more people playing Pokemon than Ingress could have imagined.

    That is why a lot of the problems are happening. The game developers didn't do more to clean up the game locations and the players are not being respectful of others as they play. So Niantic is responsible for causing part of the problem and responsible for exposing the other part of the problem. Fix either one (preferably the second one) and the problem would dissipate.

    1. I hope you know this was mostly tongue-in-cheek. :)