Pokemon Go: A Retrospective

One year and two days ago, Pokemon Go reinvented the mobile gaming landscape and reignited a craze that has gone on for over two decades. But in the wake of early crashes and frenzied, frustrated players, how far has the game come, and how much further must it go not only to satisfy its fans but also to survive?

In this retrospective, we will confront the major problems still blighting players and lay forth some suggestions for how Nintendo and Niantic can overcame these ails. In particular, we will focus on three themes: player engagement through playing together, the updated Gym system and the game’s multiple currencies, and the inequality perpetuated by the game mechanics themselves.

So join me on this adventure and get ready to Go.

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Identity Crises

Friends, I said in a weekend Facebook post, I need your help.

I’ve learned a lot about systems of (dis)advantages over the past few years, and newsflash, I have a lot of privilege. In fact, it’s hard for me to find much in my life that isn’t a result of somewhere someone giving me me something that someone else was denied–whether it’s my assumed intelligence because I’m white or my assumed leadership skills because I’m male or so many other things.

So how do I hold onto any sort of self-worth when everything I thought I had fought so hard to achieve was really just handed to me?

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The Long and Short of It

I was out with friends watching Interstellar the other night. Afterwards we were standing around, trying to figure out the movie, some of us closer to understanding than others. I was one of these guys, trying to explain multiple dimensions to people who have never had to think outside three (and even had a hard time understanding those).

But I tried to take it further, make it clearer: dimension is not only a spatial measurement. We think of space in three dimensions: we can move forward/backward, left/right, and up/down–three measures, three dimensions. So what, they asked, is four dimensional?

It may seem like this will be a post about science, but hold on. Shortly, it won’t be.

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Expanding Networks

For more than a year I’ve had a Facebook page for The Writingwolf. There I’ve shared interesting articles, links to both the fun and the profound, and helped publicize my blogging. For longer than a year I’ve resisted branching outward and expanding my social media network, but you may have recently noticed that’s changed: For the past few weeks, I’ve had links to both my Twitter and my Instagram profiles–where I’m Writingwolf2010 on both–but I’ve yet to make an announcement or explain why.

So a few words are in order–why have I branched out, and why should you follow?

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Severing Ties (and Making New Ones)

It’s been a year since this blog was reborn, the seams between its faces undone stitch by stitch: In an instant, The Writingwolf: Words & Wonders became solely dedicated to nonfiction, while Silent Soliloquy was born to be a library of all my fiction and poetry.

My blogs have only flourished since then–my audience has grown, my writing has improved, and now more than ever, I’m producing regular content on both blogs without needing to link them back and forth for traffic.

Now I’m ready for a new change, the next step in the Writingwolf’s life cycle.

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Follow Me Home

A few days ago I logged in and saw my blog has over 1,100 followers. I stared at the screen a moment. My eyes stopped blinking. I no longer heard my heart beating. One thousand, one hundred people.

And they’re all following me.

It’s hard to believe last year I had a goal of reaching 500 followers and now I’ve more than doubled that. But now that I’m here, what does it mean? What should I do?

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All for One

Thankful Thursday and I’m tired and exhausted and starting to feel the first week of school getting to me. Physics and Calculus every day overwhelming enough as it is, plus computer programming, a rush across campus for yoga (which is only relaxing after I get there), and tutoring in math. It’s busy. But I enjoy it (until I get home and feel it all get to me). All this running around and doing stuff, however, leaves me little time to think about being thankful.

But it somehow leaves me plenty of time to think about people. I mean, it’s people that I’m around all day.

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