Networking around Pokemon Go is less interesting now that everyone plays the game. I have heard non geeks talk about Pokemon Go. They spoke about the large crowds that are staring at their phones in places like Ouchy. The value of social movements is to be part of a small, passionate group of players where the community is large enough to be fun but not so large as to become mundane.
With a game like Ingress players were more sparsely distributed. When we met other players there was an immediate connection because we were few and far between. You would walk around certain cities and villages and you would not spot other players for hours of game play. When you met another player you wanted to meet, you wanted to interact.
Communities are fun when they are small. Pokemon Go has risen in popularity at such a rate that old social networks may be privilieged over new ones.
I was at the Chateau de Prangins a few days ago playing ingress for a short period of time raising the level of Ingress portals. During this time I saw at least 5-10 adolescent boys playing Pokemon Go, walking and running around the park.
Pokemon Go is like alcohol or snowboarding. As everyone plays the game the opportunity to create new social groups is reduced. Why mix with new people when your core group of friends is already playing?
The Facebook, telegram, slack and Google Hangout groups are alive and well this summer so people are connecting with new people. Although a new network of people is forming around this game I feel that it is hindered by the popularity of the game. Introverts can connect online via these groups, Meeting new people face to face may not be as comfortable due to the large crowds.
It’s great that a location based game is encouraging people to run around while staring at their phones. Phone screen replacement companies are very happy with the increase in demand for their skills and external battery sales are going up. Prices are going to go down and innovation is going to go up. If you’re an introvert, bad at small talk, then Pokemon Go has reached its peak usefulness and you can revert to other less popular activities. You can skip the craze.