Extraordinary. I’ve just spent the past few hours of a sunny, wintry Melbourne afternoon pacing around the suburbs in the company of Dadwardo Junior. She’s glued to the iPhone, drawn in by the promise of gathering Pokémon, something she’d never even heard of until yesterday.
We had a grand few hours, me pushing the pram, she squealing with delight every time she tracked down one of the elusive beasties. Here’s the thing, though: everywhere we went – the playground around the corner, down by the footy oval, a couple of local landmarks – everyone, simply everyone, was at it. Gangs of 15 year old boys: families out to play: a couple of mid-forties blokes like me, who, obviously, should know better.
A sense that this is the tipping point into something big, with major potential. An irresistible combination of GPS, powerful handsets and Augmented Reality branded cuteness means that, well, if I ran a family-friendly cafe, I’d be happy to pay $50 every week to our technology overlords to host a little slice of cuteness in the heart of my cafe. Children will demand to go there to complete their collection. Fed up parents will follow suit.
Upside? Fresh air, exploring, maps, adventure, reward. Not all bad. What it’ll grow into remains to be seen, but, during the meanwhilst, those of you with children might consider re-upping your data plans and battery strategies – a massive drain on both.