Thanks to the craze of Niantic’s mobile-based game, Pokemon GO, which is making the internet addict youth in India, get up, go out and play outdoors.  The newspapers, magazines, FM radio and of-course internet has been generous enough to discuss the fad in detail before it is officially launched in India.With more than 20 million downloads  Pokemon Go has bagged the paradigm shift title after the global virtual reality sensation tag. Even in India, enthusiasts have managed to join the international craze by using unofficial versions.

The innovators’ and early adopters’ voices can be taken as pokes to the regulating authorities in sectors like health,urban development, telecom,law&order to use VIRTUAL REALITY as an aid to improve reality for a safe, comfortable and enjoyable living.

Lets take a look on few excerpts regarding the reality-

‘Gurgaon drowning under unplanned urbanisation’ – The Hindu

pokemon 11

“Two of the world’s most populated countries – India & China are among the few under-performers on access to Information and Communication Technology.” In 2014, India had only about 18 people per 100 using the internet (~world bank data)

pokemon digital divide

 

Now,a look at few excerpts regarding virtual reality :

 

“Traffic accidents and other incidents are piling up in Japan due to Pokemon”

“Authorities say two Pokemon Go players were so distracted by the game that they fell off an ocean bluff in Southern California, suffering moderate injuries.”

“Police say Campos, 18, tried to rob Pokemon Go players in Las Vegas before a shootout left him and a player injured.” – cbsnews

“On July 10, 2016, police in Missouri arrested three adults and one minor on suspicion of armed robbery. Police in the city of O’Fallon say the suspects used Pokemon Go as a tool to target victims.” – cbsnews

People are getting so engrossed in finding Pokemon in the outside world, that they are unknowingly sending invitations to real problems directly or subtly by losing track of their actual world-surroundings. If observed well,these are clear pokes to the concerned-

Poke 1 to Players’ Health, Personal Safety & Privacy

Imagine a Pokemon gym(a real world place where trainers can deploy their Pokemon to battle with other trainers) near an open pothole filled with rain/flood water, what would you fight then, the virtual reality trainer or the dangerous fall in front of you?

“People want to go to all the places they never wanted to, because they want to catch a Pokemon” CEO of a game development firm.

Cases of theft, road accidents,shootouts have already been reported in Japan and USA.

Poke 2 to Cyber Security

Internet Security is a long pending issue to  address before we go completely online for many things, also games! Using pirated versions to be the first to play is fun, but the gift of spywares and malware can never be a welcoming one for any early adopter. Also, terms clearly say they can access your google account and documents..all of it! And think of physical location information made public through game, helping anti-socials to take advantage.

Poke 3 to  National Security 

Relative to crime world and government agencies,location is a very sensitive and crucial data. It can be shared and misused for whatever purpose a criminal mind can think of.

Poke 4 to Telecom Service Providers and National Infrastructure Regulators

The market is eager to explore internet, apps and latest in technology like virtual reality but even people in metros apart from tier-2 and tier-3 cities find it difficult to stream live videos, get continuous GPS data. We are yet to mark a start on village fronts.

Poke 5 to Legal Framework

There is no doubt, technology would take the center stage on almost all aspects of a citizen’s life.Legal framework should start making rooms for provisions for such close to public life technologies.Indian law should be well equipped to address issues that arise with the adoption of virtual reality before it is too late.  The Information Technology Act requires a thoughtful update on a priority basis.

So while Pokemon go may be a good news for marketers, app developers and companies in gaming and virtual reality sector considering the adoption and penetration numbers it has registered so far. But, its intoxicating ability coupled with real and virtual world divide is posing as a ’cause of concern’ for many regulating and civic authorities including the first authorities “Parents” and the players themselves.

As people move the technology adoption cycle (shown in figure below)there will be stories getting created, some positive and some negative which would call for actions, information or help on mentioned fronts. The chasm is the chance to get ready for the future.

Technology-Adoption-Lifecycle

Wondering in what version name will it be launched in India now?

Pokemon Go?

Pokemon No?

or Pokemon Go safe?

 

*This piece is posted under  “Living in the NOW” category, where you can talk about -current trends in science & art fields.Hope you enjoy exploring the various possibilities in terms of equations, emotions and  einformations they hold within*

 #VachSoch Melange Tags :  Virtual Reality Game + Physical Reality Truths#

 

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