So sadly Nigel did not go for Pokémon and ‘evil maps’ but if you want to know more about ‘walking as content’ (including one of Debord’s ideas to re-walk your city as the speed of a tortoise as an act of rediscovery) then here are some references and links to get you started.
Satoshi Tajiri, the inventor of Pokémon, was inspired by his childhood hobby of catching crayfish (neither Miranda or I could entirely determine what a crayfish exactly looks like but we think they are the shit lobsters you see in Pret salads) and going on adventures in nature. Pokémon Go! sends often what might be thought of as, umm, indoors people? outside to re-xplore there area looking for things that aren’t actually there.
This is a perfect example of Pscychogeography, walking to create content rather than walking with a purpose – coined in 1950s Paris by Guy Debord and the Situationists Pokémon Go! has changed the way that adults behave the urban environment, which, unlike Satoshi’s crayfish filled countryside, is not designed for walking. I argue that the fact that Pokémon changes your relationship, to non-purposeful meandering, makes walking around your own city is a subversive act of resistance.
Books to get you started:
- Baker, P. (2003) ‘Secret City: Psychogeography and the End of London’ in Kerr & Gibson (Eds) London from Punk to Blair. Reaktion Books: London
- Benjamin, W (1999) The Arcades Project. Belknap Press: Cambridge MA
- Coverley, M. (2006) Psychogeography. Pocket Essentials: Harpenden
- Debord, G. (1981) ‘Introduction to a Critique of Urban Georgaphy’ in Knabb, K. (Ed.) Situationist International Anthology p.5
How ‘Pokémon maps’ have become a thing, changing the way you might navigate or plan your route, not for speed but to finally get a Mr Mime (don’t get a Mr Mime, those things are terrifying)
A great article on how Pokémon effects the behaviour/ movement of children:
- Got my shoes, got my Pokémon’: Everyday geographies of children’s popular culture Horton, J. Geoforum : journal of physical, human and regional geosciences. VOL 43; NUMB 1, ; 2012, 4-13 — Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam. – 2012
I particularly like this article from rappler.com on how Pokémon could improve urban planning itself:
You might need to dig this one out of the Time archive somewhere, I can’t find it online (I would LOVE a link) but this is a really interesting example of taking the mapping further to include economic and social ‘mapping’ as well as geographical
- ‘Pokémon Fold-Out: Mapping the Pokémonopoly’ Time. VOL 154; NUMBER 21, ; 1999, 91-93 — TIME – LIFE INTERNATIONAL – 1999
Go forth and use the power of Jigglypuff to re-walk your neighbourhood, safe in the knowledge that this is actually philosophy homework…