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Pokemon Go News - Raph Koster Describes AR Games as MMOs

Posted by Suzie Ford on Jul 11, 2016  | Comments

Raph Koster Describes AR Games as MMOs | Pokemon Go |

Raph Koster has written a lengthy and fascinating article at Gamasutra that lays out the case for augmented reality games being true representations of MMOs. He bases his argument on the phenomenon that is Pokemon Go that has swept the world even if only released officially in three nations so far.

Koster breaks his article into several subheadings including:

  • The Goggles Fallacy: "But then there are also those who see these experiences as somehow qualitatively different. The commonest argument given is what I call "the goggles fallacy." Goggles or phones, as Pokémon GO is demonstrating, are just clients. "
  • You Are the Client: "You are the avatar."
  • A User-Generated World: "Here's a guy who lives in a building that Ingress players (presumably) labeled as a Pokémon GO gym. What are the implications here? Aside from the very real risk of constant home invasions, we're seeing a game AR layer used to directly affect home value and livability, outside of the owner's control."
  • Affecting the Real World Economy: "Well, actually... we're already seeing coffee shops advertising discounts for those who happen to be on specific Pokémon GOteams, and today there was a Forbes article giving business advice about how to leverage the game layer for more customers. Make no mistake, these are the first steps towards real-money trade."
  • Player-vs-Player: "Make no mistake: by creating teams at all, this game has put in place at least a little context encouraging players to aggress one another. The developers only hope that it only happens via game-sanctioned means."
  • The Stuff that has not Happened Yet: "The social element here is powerful. Pokémon GO has the best emote system available: the human body. It has the most elegant and all consuming chat system ever: smartphones for tells and local voice with full presence for local chat. It has the most detailed and highly simulated game map ever, thanks to the real world. We are seeing amazing social activity happening, amazing bursts of joy, across the world. But we should absolutely expect everything that happened in MMOs to happen here, because AR is an MMO."
  • This is a Government: "Facebook, Google, and yes now Nintendo, The Pokémon Company, and Niantic, as they move into AR, are basically like governments. And if they are going to start impinging upon the public sphere, it's getting to be time that they take it seriously and actually walk through the consequences and ripple effects of what they are doing."

You can read the full and very interesting article over at Gamasutra.

Suzie Ford / Suzie is the Associate Editor and News Manager at Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom