Got the app. Signing in process wasn't so smooth. App crashing I guess makes it more alluring as it alludes to millions of users who are trying to get in at the same time. More alarming was the app asking access to email, camera, photos, and many other things that I did not feel comfortable with. I always feel uneasy in the begining and then aquiesce depending on how badly I want the app.
The avatar options wwere the next frustrating thing. Man/woman? woman. Pink or purple? curvy body or .... Nope just that. So now I am a voluptuous pink wearing woman/girl that I do not identify with.
The other struggle when I finally got in was that I remembered about the game only when I had a minute free at my table rather than when I went out for a walk. I quickly learned without anybody teaching me that the poke stops when flicked give pokeballs. Throw pokeballs at different creatures appearing to catch them. Figured out about the egg incubator after I caught 3 eggs. Had to keep telling myself to be careful about dialogues like - my eggs haven't hatched yet or I have 2 eggs in the incubator. Then heard a male colleague saying the exact same thing. How wonderful it must be to not worry about that sounding weird or creepy.
My colleague's kid explained the rest of the game mechanics what to do with the pokemons after you catch them, the candy, the fairy dust, powering up etc. The game still doesn't make much sense to me. People keep talking about the social experience. I reached level 5 just now so the in app social experience has elluded me till now. Some of my friends shared their experience playing pokemon go with their colleagues, knowing them better, finding landmarks in the neighborhood or on campus that they were not aware about. My experience has been limited to a nod or smile or look of acknolwedgement from strangers on the sidewalk who were playing Pokemon go and clearly identified that I was playing too. I know the pokemons my colleagues caught, the level they are on, the type of mobile phone they have but not much else has come out of those interactions. Except of course the disconcerting exchange with a colleague during a work related conversation, "Devayani don't move I am trying to catch a zubat on your face".
More fulfilling has been the experience of the Pokemon Syllabus google doc shared on AIR listserv. The doc was created by Adrienne Massanari this morning and already has about 11 pages of relevant literature shared by 40+ people on topics such as location-based mobile gaming, AR & Public Spaces, apps, wearable tech, legalities/policy, and links to news articles on pokemon go.