Pervasive Pokémon

A friend linked me to a digital SLR review on Youtube months ago. The reviewer chased a lovely looking girl in a fox cosplay outfit through his city, taking pictures with said camera while also talking in depth of the features his camera had to offer.

This review had a lot to offer about the camera and they made good use of photographing the cute looking girl in costume, although I was thinking of a bigger picture entirely.

Ignoring the SLR review and focusing on the activity they were creating I thought, ‘what if this were Pokémon’ and players had to ‘capture’ them using photography. Similar to Pokémon Snap (1999) players would capture pokemon in their natural habitats and score points on how good the photograph was based on aesthetics and breed of Pokémon.

Imagine a spatial environment where players could meet up for one day equipped with their cameras and head off into a treasure hunt, the treasure being various types of Pokémon (volunteers dressed in costume) located in certain points of the area.

“Often the prize or target is not valuable or worthwhile in itself; it could be just a logbook one gets to write one’s name in. The discovery is a reward in itself. Treasure hunts can be either competitions between individuals or teams or solo missions where the hunter challenges herself.” Kaufmann (2009)

There are many possibilities that can be arranged for a points system: type, trainer, quest, time of day, multiple pokemon in one shot, it goes on.

Players would spend one day, hunting for either Pokémon or Trainers, the latter could additionally add quests for the players for extra points which could lead the player into a LARP. Upload their photos and progress onto a community forum or hashtag with the use of Flickr. Players could also work with teams providing support of geographical locations via other social networks such as Foursquare.

A quest system for Trainers: Find a trainer, if you decide to speak to them they may be in trouble, they’ve lost one of their Pokémon balls and you need to find it (find but keep in location) Inside the ball would contain tokens or a code, take the token/code back to the trainer and they will pose holding a secret gesture that would provide extra points to the player completing the quest. As the Trainers could be on their feet and in character for quite some time, it would be nice to provide them with potions (food or drinks) they reward you with a gesture for points and they also get nourishment.

I’m reading a bit on pervasive games, this is still in early development but I would really love to see it in fruition. Perhaps a future event after #KeyframeFame.

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