Monday’s work on The Game That Shall Not Be Named, colonialism, augmented reality tech, and lineages of state violence went further afield than I expected.
As sites like the Holocaust Museum and Arlington National Cemetery begin to push back against the game’s boundaries, there are plenty of thoughtful, worth-reading articles about the broader connections and the moment that we’re in.
This moment holds the potential for deeper and more substantial awareness of all that’s shaped us and all we’ve yet to do than we’ve ever had.
It’s also clear to me that this awareness will not be televised, produced or commercially broadcast because it isn’t the kind of awareness that comforts. It’s an awareness that undermines neutrality claims, nostalgic appeals, supposedly amoral innovation, and all violent supremacies.
- On the African American Intellectual History Society site, Brandon Byrd traces the military, policing, and colonial footprints in the story of the United States’ occupation of once-free Haiti.
“Nothing. That is the answer that more and more scholars and activists are bringing to light. It is the answer that black intellectuals including Langston Hughes articulated decades ago.” —Brandon Byrd, July 14, 2016
- Henry Rollins challenges the misinformation peddled on the 24-hour networks and highlights how our immediate and direct access to recurring violence could bridge the gaps between the “two Americas.”
Things are bad, but I would posit that they have been this way for as far back into American history as you want to go. What has changed is the amount of information available to the average citizen. Thanks to cellphones and people employing social networking to spread news quickly, what goes on minute to minute has crossed the line into overload… There are at least two different Americas. They have existed in an environment of almost unbroken mutual exclusivity. That’s over now.” —Henry Rollins, July 14, 2016
- truth-out’s William C. Anderson studies recent instances of state violence, argues for a global movement rather than one limited by the isolated nation-state, and warns that repression is likely to follow protest.
Understanding and drawing from the fact the whole world—not simply one state or country—is full of oppressed and disillusioned people might be key to advancing our struggles. I believe, as Malcolm X once said, that freedom will come when we start identifying ourselves with oppressed people around the world, building with them, and forming effective movements against imperialism.” —William C. Anderson, July 13, 2016
- Niantic holds open the door to advertisers, Maureen Morrison reports: why not monetize all of this volunteered location data?
According to SimilarWeb, 5.9% of all Android users opened the app on Monday.
Soon enough, marketers will be able to target those people through sponsored locations within the wildly popular mobile game. Niantic, the game’s developer and a spin off of Google, said earlier in the week that it would offer advertisers sponsored locations down the road, a move that will especially appeal to retailers, but few details were given.
On Wednesday, Niantic CEO John Hanke told the Financial Times that sponsored locations may come sooner [rather] than later.” —Maureen Morrison, July 14, 2016
- Brendan Keogh, an Australian design lecturer, uses some of the same data points I did, but draws on the original game’s Japanese history to address how players and residents negotiate memory and shared space.
The handwringing that has always followed Pokémon’s popularity to claim it is essentially cutesy cockfighting has always missed the point that it was never really about fighting at all; that was nothing but a pretence for collecting, exploring, and discovering a grand, old, pre-urbanised world that a young kid could adventure through all by themselves…
“Pokémon Go isn’t really doing much new. It takes well-established technologies and modes of play from AR, the existing data from Ingress, and incorporates them with the well-established brand that is Pokémon—a brand already built around the idea of exploring public spaces. It then circumvents the need for players to own unique hardware to play the game, instead being free-to-play on the mobile device already owned by both those kids discovering it for the first time and those adults who remember it with a fond nostalgia.” —Brendan Keogh, July 14, 2016 (emphasis added)
- Finally, Alex Hern at the London Guardian rounds up several of the spatial conflicts that have emerged since the game launched last week.
Who does own the virtual space around you? I can’t put a billboard on your house without asking you; but is it so obvious that I should be allowed to put a virtual billboard “on” your house without giving you any say in the matter?
… Perhaps the best thing to do is to look backwards, not forward, for solutions. In the early days of the 20th century, another technological revolution raised questions of control, trespass and oversight: the aeroplane.” —Alex Hern, July 13, 2016