How POKEMON GO Could Revolutionize Mobile Gaming

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Could Pac Man Go be in our future?

Not for the first time are people viewing the world through the lens of their smartphones. We've been at live appearances by our idols, yet never saw them except on the screen in our hands as we recorded them talking or singing or eating their lunch. We text while we're walking so much that some apps had to come up with transparent screen technology just so we could at least see our feet as we sent out that important "WTF? LOL, IKR?"

And now we're looking at the world through screens once again, looking for superimposed cartoon characters that we can zap into our digital prison, thanks to the widespread phenomenon of POKEMON GO.

Now, I've never been a Pokemon player. I've tried the app, yes, but I've not played the card game, and I'm only passingly familiar with the cartoon series. But I can recognize a paradigm shift when I see one, and Nintendo has definitely changed the landscape of mobile gaming. Expect to see future games taking advantage of the new technology, the same as you saw several first-person shooters crop up to leverage the Quake engine.

Grand Theft Oughta Go

Mount your smartphone to your dashboard, then drive. Neighborhoods with the highest recorded crime rates will be seeded with the most digital hookers, and your speed will be used to increase your bonus points. The front-facing camera will passively register any flashing lights behind you to shift your game into High Speed Chase mode, but if you're stopped for more than one minute with the camera still registering the flashing red and blue, you lose.

Injustice: Go Among Us

In this game, you strap your smartphone to your wrist and set your allegiance as either a hero or a villain. You can visit various "Halls" (Hall of Justice or Hall of Doom, depending on your alignment) to get power-ups, and prowl the streets looking for digital opponents to appear. Be Batman, and take down the Joker, Bane, and Catwoman through tapping and swiping, or execute super-moves by actually executing physical jumps, kicks, or punches. After all, why just "walk" when you can get a heck of a lot more cardio out of a game? And think of the market for game accessories! Who wouldn't want a smartphone enabled Batsuit to prowl around in, or a set of Sinestro gloves that redirect the phone's camera input to the ring accessory? This would be a cosplayer's wet dream come true!

Game of Thrones: GO

First you'll set up your account. Then you go through a detailed process of character creation, which involves:

  • choosing a name
  • selecting your house (Stark, Lannister, Bolton etc.)
  • choosing your race (Human, White Walker, Dothraki etc.)
  • choosing your profession (Knight's Watch, Gold Cloak, Master of Coin etc.)
  • customizing your avatar

Once that is all completed, your character dies. Your app dies. Everything dies.


How hard is it to create a paramilitary-looking toy gun that fits your smartphone? Plug in, and turn your next block party into a Red vs Blue brawl!

In fact, pretty much any first person shooter you can think of could be adapted to this technology.

Magic the GO-thering

As you walk the streets with your app opened up, with a fick of your finger you can launch fireballs and rain down meteor showers on all those unsuspecting pedestrians. But proceed with caution, if you come in contact with another planeswalker the duel becomes virtually real as you command your Goblin horde to attack! If you notice a glowing ring of protection circling their feet then it'll be hard to break their defenses, but with enough remaining mana you can summon Ulamog's Crusher to annihilate them to shreds!

Mario GO Kart

Mount that smartphone on the dashboard and start slinging turtle shells at the unsuspecting traffic in front of you. Shout with glee and pump your fist as you grab the mushroom powerup, giving you the freedom to bash cars off the road because BIGGER is BETTER. Worried about other players on the interstate coming up on your tail? Don't be! As your app picks up the GPS signal from players all around you, you'll hear a notification if someone tries pelting you with those pesky turtle shells. Just swerve out of the way to avoid them and you'll be on your way to victory!

And let's not forget some of the more old school games. Imagine the POKEMON GO engine as applied to these pioneers.

Space Invaders / Asteroids / Missile Command Go

You can't walk all the time. Sometimes you just need to lay down on a grassy hill, stare up at the sky and take a rest. But why waste all that time that could be spent on your smartphone? Open the app, stare at the sky through your rear-facing camera, and blast away at incoming alien saucers, space rocks, or ICBMs as they descend upon you with increasing numbers.

Pac Man Go

Let's put that GPS through some real paces, and turn your city streetmap into the maze of all mazes! Dots now line the roads, and just around the corner you can see a pulsating power pellet. You are Pac Man, and as you move along you gobble things up. But you'd better pick up the pace, because Inky is right behind you. Do you turn left for the power pellet, or turn right to get those cherries that just popped up? Better hurry, because Blinky and Clyde are barreling down the frontage road and getting onto the exit for your neighborhood!

What games would you like to see using the 'GO' technology?