Pokemon Go and Virtual Property

Alejandro Alvarez
August 2nd 2016

In the 90's Pokemon took over the world. Young people were completely hooked by it. This craze gave rise to a trade market of Pokemon cards, kids used to spend their lunch money on cards trading to catch ́em all. This situation seemed innocent and trivial, but on a second tought it’s amazing how the game could generate a whole economical system. It triggered demand, a black market, bans by school authorities, monopolization and scarcity. Pokemon was a hit in the childhood of the 90's generation and now, almost 20 years later, it ́s doing it again. But this time, the impact seems to be bigger and with deeper consequences.

Pokemon Go is a virtual world that blends with our physical world through augmented reality, with your phone you can catch these creatures in real locations. This element is important because it gives a virtual dimension to immovible property, it adds new value to old culture. What happens when this property is not public, but private? Or as The Washington Post put it: “What happens when someone places a virtual property on top of a physical one?”.

Boom Sheridan, a resident of Holyoke Massachussets, had a clue when few days ago he woke up to discover that his home was surrounded by people aiming their cellphones at his house. Soon he found out that the new mobile game Pokemon Go had “built” a virtual gym right on top of his house. Suddenly a company created a new value for Sheridan ́s property: the capacity to gather a considerable quantity of people with specific preferences to a place were he has certain power.

This new virtual dimension could be used by retailers for market segmentation or by politicians to drag a captive audience, but it also could be used by robbers to mislead their victims. Furthermore, if a rare pokemon is hiding inside a private location would it rise its market value?

At the end we can be sure of one thing, Pokemon Go is already changing the lives of people in unpredictable ways, becoming a second nature.

Story via The Washington Post

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Should men be able to give birth to children?


Koert van Mensvoort: Is the artificial womb frankenstein-like symbol of (male) engineers trying to steal the magical womb from women? Or… is it a feminist project and needed to reach through equality between the sexes? I personally lean towards the latter. To me it feels like progress if a girl can tell a guy to carry the womb for a change.

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