The Absurd Possibilities of Pokémon Go

As my brother-in-law called it, “Pokemon Go,” is the finest fitness app out in the market today. Sure, you can have your Galaxy Gear Fit, Jawbones, or whatever other health monitoring device there is that’s cashing in on the Internet-of-Things (IoT).

But none of those devices, and I mean, none of them, really inspired anyone to do anything different that take a few more steps than normal just to burn a bit more cals off your system. “Pokemon Go” is tricking you into getting healthy.

You can walk thousands of steps, burning hundreds of calories, without realizing what you’re doing, in the pursuit of catching rare Pokemons. I’m sure some of you have seen the vids on Facebook about a massive horde marching into New York City’s Central Park at night to find—based from the memes—a Vaporeon. This is proof some people are willing to follow Pokemon to the depths of the Earth.

Nintendo, The Pokemon Company, and Pokemon Go developer Niantic Labs, are carrying one of the biggest balls yet. It’s now falls on how they toss it around, and to whom. The future of “Pokemon Go” is still up in the clouds. Nintendo, despite being an isolated-type of company, dares to try new things—perhaps, Nintendo is the only one who really has the balls to experiment what may appeal to fans, and willing to pay the price for it—ahem, the lackluster Wii U. Niantic Labs has already pushed Nintendo off its comfort zone by making “Pokemon Go” available on smartphones.

How much further are they willing to go, remains to be seen. But what else is there to look forward to anyway? If “Pokemon Go,” a mobile game, managed to become an unofficial fitness app, then it is possible for it to become a pseudo-travel app as well. (In a way it is, thanks to GPS and on-screen map, which has so much room for improvement.)

“Nintendo” is an established, powerhouse name, a Mick Jagger-kind of rock star—old school, but not totally out of school—I know that was a lame analogy, shut up all ready!

It has every power to achieve worldwide things on its own. Tourism departments all over the world could reach out and partner with the “Pokemon Go” phenomenon for strategic placements of Pokemons virtually anywhere. Think about scaling Mt. Pinatubo to catch a legendary Moltres. Fans will go nuts. Locals can even join tourist groups, for Pokemon hunting while going around landmarks here and there and other tourist destinations. It will also promote safer Pokemon hunting than wandering off alone.

If you combine this concept with Facebook—rather, Mark Zuckerberg, and his ambition to provide the social network to every people around the world, Nintendo—actually, Niantic, can continue to profit out of this. Climb up the Himalayas and a wild Arcticuno appears. Damn!

Anyone remembers Google Glass? Those dorky stuff you on your head to receive hands-free augmented reality stuff? It’s sitting in the quiet right now, the technology continues to brew, and waiting for a big comeback—just like VR. The Glass project too, can collaborate with “Pokemon Go” in many ways.

First off, you won’t need to directly use your smartphone’s camera to spot Pokemon. By then the technology becomes readily available, we can all chill that the Glass will definitely look much cooler than it was first made public in 2013. Imagine sky gliding thousands of feet in the air and you spot a kit of pigeys soaring with you. It’s a beautiful thing to imagine. It’s also dangerous, but who the hell cares? It’s Pokemon!

The rise of “Pokemon Go” is a testament that there are people ready to support Nintendo products. The ridiculous amount of popularity is so strong it even pulls non-Poke fans into its orbit. Nintendo and Niantic will not run short of players, especially if they improve around the app. It’s an ideal scenario and the best way to make Pokemon come as close to reality as possible.

However, such a thing is unlikely. This would require government offices to directly contact Nintendo and make lengthy negotiations about how a project this scale will profit each side. I can see this being a possibility in other countries in the near future, but not in this one, unless we improvements in our government systems in the coming years. Now, we wait once more for the app to settle in.
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The Fireman

Finished reading the horror novel “The Fireman” by Joe Hill. It felt like getting kicked in the balls by a good friend. Nothing like a good swing of a steeled-toe boot jiggling your most precious, most cherished, pearls of the Orient sea. It’s a fond memory, something you guys can laugh about, but at the same time, you know it god damn hurts.

“The Fireman” hurts like hell. I had no idea how this book was going to turn out to, and from what I’ve heard, Joe Hill, himself, had said that this is his version of his father’s “The Stand,” which was marvelous though anti-climatic mega monstrous book. Somehow, “The Fireman” didn’t feel that way. There were bits of “Andromeda Strain” in it, as Hill said, though it’s almost like a nod to the late Michael Crichton, than something that might have influenced the book. I don’t know what I’m saying.

In any case, “The Fireman” is a road trip, a highway to hell kind of expedition, where every scene you pass by is a smoking heap of tragedies and hope burned to a charred wisp.

I’ve run into two people who have said, even though “The Fireman” is a great book, they wouldn’t classify this as horror. I disagree. It is frightening to live in an isolated territory, where any time, a group of trigger-happy people can storm in and murder everyone in sight. It is frightening to live in an isolated territory, where food supplies are running low. It is frightening to contract a deadly disease. It is frightening to hold onto hope, when there isn’t any.

“The Fireman” is eerie, funny, and sweet. It’s also just as bitter, and its disturbing scenes are cringe-fests. I can’t wait for what Joe Hill comes up next.


The Butchered Gist of the Editorial Process

Hello kids, today we’ll be having a super quick, super brief talk about how a media’s editorial process goes.

I’ll start like this.

My brother-in-law was recently attacked online. He is a frequent contributor to our publication and is one of the fastest and intelligent writers I have met. I mean, the bastard didn’t graduate from journalism with a cum laude in the country’s top university, if he wasn’t a great writer.

The said attack wasn’t really big. Just a few comments from overzealous fanatics of Pokemon Go. Yeah, you read that right. My brother-in-law was assigned by my editor to write a review of the recently released mobile app, Pokemon Go, which is currently flooding social media feeds.

Pokemon Go is blocked in this country. However, people have managed to get around this for a time, until Nintendo and the app developer, Niantic, pointed the gun by basically saying, “If we catch you’ve sideloaded the APK, we’ll ban your device.” Though my colleague has informed me that only the account will be banned. I don’t know which for certain. This blog post isn’t about that.

Anyway: My Bro-in-law did quite a well-written review of the game. He currently lives in a different country, somewhere in EU, which has allowed him to download and play the entire Pokemon app without restrictions.

As soon as the article was published both in print and online, the attack began, for, a brief time really. My bro-in-law is okay with it. He’s a writer and we all know writers need a thick skin. Plus, journalists get bashed all the time. What was completely inane is the reason why people were bashing him.

His headline, as the people put it, nothing but a click bait, because of its headline. Technically it wasn’t a click bait, though I do see where all the misunderstanding came from. He talked about how Pokemon Go is an excellent fitness app and the original headline was true to the content. However, the published article had a very different headline, which has suggested that the game was released in the country. Again, technically, the app has indeed made its way through mobile devices around here, so it wasn’t completely wrong. Plus, the local authorities, had released a statement, discouraging people from being unmindful in the street while playing Pokemon Go. The statement was released before it was declared that the app was blocked in the country.

Now that the backgrounder has been settled. Here’s how the editorial process works. I’ll bullet it down to make it a bit easier to follow.

  • Section editor assigns writer a topic. Or, writer pitches topic to editor. In my brother-in-law’s case, the former.
  • Author does research, writes the article, and submits on or before the deadline.
  • Articles go to copywriters and proofreaders to fix grammar, before sending to the editor.
  • Editor butchers the article, changing what they believe needs to be changed.
  • Editors do not edit grammar. (They do, actually, but not as much as you’d think.) The editor ensures that articles maintain in excellent form and accurate, as it represents the publication’s integrity and credibility.
  • Editor contacts author for any clarification, if necessary. If changes were big, editor will return the article to the author for revisions.
  • Author re-submits.
  • Editor, satisfied, can still make changes, such as editing the headlines.
  • Some publications, the article will ascend to the more crucial eyes of other section editors, such as the managing editor and the editor-in-chief, for final approval. Though this isn’t always the case.
  • Article is scheduled for publishing.

In our case, the editor wasn’t even at fault here and I would go as far as blame the assistant editor. Normally, the assistant editor will do most of the preliminary editing and the editor will simply double check. Sometimes if two people have been working for a long time and they trust each other very well, then, sometimes the editor will just glance at the final layout, just to make sure that everything is smooth sailing. (Mostly, he checks if articles are too old to publish, or if they contract another article.)

Our department isn’t about delivering straight news. It’s about talking about technology, at the same time, trying to sound cool. The assistant editor originated as a sports writer, so he can’t help himself craft some witty punchlines in articles and headlines. I am at fault as well, I thought the headline “sounded” all right. I tried to reason with the assistant editor that the headline may be wrong, since the Pokemon Go app hasn’t really launched officially in this country. The assistant editor, rebutted that technically the app made it to the country, and there was nothing wrong about the headline. He called those who attacked my brother-in-law, “morons” and “motherfucker idiots.”

Truthfully, I agree. But don’t mind me. That was based from my cognitive bias cause it’s my brother-in-law that had been digitally bashed. But I do protest about the headline change and I am beating myself with it, as I had the voice to earlier sway the assistant editor’s opinion before the article was published.

I read a lot of articles from different websites. My favorite ones are Polygon, Wired, and Killscreen. I frequent IGN now and then, Kotaku, and Rolling Stone. Forbes, Wall Street, Paris Review, New York Times, and the New Yorker are special mentions. I like hanging out in the Gawker too, once in a while. I even sometimes read Vogue and Cosmopolitan, just because. Playboy and FHM are certainly not out of the question. I wrote that last sentence with a wink. Funny, yah? … Anyway, the point is, the comments section are often flourishing in those websites. If there was an undesirable content there, even things considered as click bait, the comments were always directed to the website itself, not the author, never the author.

So it hit me. People who comment in websites like Polygon, which is an American-owned website, are mostly, well, Americans. Is there an intelligence barrier here? I am certain those who had commented in the Pokemon Go article weren’t kids – while kids certainly have the capacity to spit out all the Hell on earth with their dirty fucking mouths – they wouldn’t follow media publications, especially news outlets. So, these people has to be at that age to be at least, following the publication. That’s a weak theory, I’m aware of that, but let’s proceed with that as it is.

We read articles from various publications to gather information, to discover, to become aware, all to develop well-informed and relevant opinions. The internet was supposed to make things easier for all of us to learn what’s happening from one corner of the world to the next. And yes, we’re supposed to care and understand what’s happening. Think the recent Brexit doesn’t concern you? Think again.

Is it such an alien concept that writers have their own bosses that may alter bits and pieces of the originally submitted draft? Or is it because, with the large amount of blogs online, such as Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, Livejournal (does this still exist? Beyond George R.R. Martin and Scott Lynch’s?) and whatever other networks out there that allows people to simply jot down a few paragraphs and post it where the whole world can see, unfiltered, unaltered, raw to its purest form, that they simply assume online publications behave the same way?

Professional media isn’t a blog. Articles published by professional media are assessed by copywriters, proofreaders, and editors. It goes under the lens, to be examined if the content will be interesting to draw readers out.

At this point I had the perfect ending sentence. Unfortunately I literally sneezed and for some god damn reason, I forgot what it was, making me doubt that it was really good at all. Anyway, my brother-in-law is somewhere in EU, as I said, enjoying Pokemon Go. All those who bashed him can burn in hell while they wait for weeks or even months before the official release here.