Over the first weeks of July 2016, a strange phenomenon began to unfold. People across several countries downloaded the Pokémon GO app and entered an augmented reality (AR), wandering their neighborhoods and public spaces in search of Pokémon and pokestops, and competing with other players at virtual Pokémon gyms. Through the lens of Pokémon GO, we can understand and critically interpret a variety of issues involved in the politics and practice of playful mobile media. Far from coming out of nowhere, Pokémon GO has brought together decades of mobile media, locative arts, gaming, and Japanese culture. This special section of Mobile Media & Communication has sought to put Pokémon GO in context—historically, culturally, socially, and politically.
Pokémon GO: Mobile media play, place-making, and the digital wayfarer
Mobile Media & Communication
2017, Vol. 5(1)