Welcome to a Pokémon Go-obsessed edition of What We’re Reading, Marxent’s weekly series featuring staff members highlighting the best articles, videos, music and more they saw over the prior 7 days. This week, those finds included stories from Wired, The Verge, the New York Times, Vox and many more. Up first, it’s …
We finished up last week’s edition of What We’re Reading with a story from Forbes that categorized Pokémon Go’s release as a “complete disaster.” What a difference a week makes! Pokémon Go is now the biggest mobile game in U.S. history (dethroning Candy Crush), and the nation has seemingly gone bonkers for pocket monsters. As a result of Pokémon Go’s success, Nintendo quickly added $7.5 billion to its market value, which prompted Joe Johnson, Marxent’s Marketing Creative Director, to ask, “Hey, Forbes, remember when you were shitting on Nintendo? How’s that working out for ya?”
In addition to the general public, the media went Pokémon crazy this week. “Pokémon Go Brings Augmented Reality to a Mass Audience” announced the New York Times, while the USA Today was busy sharing “5 things we learned from Pokémon Go,'” and VentureBeat was chastising stock-pickers, saying Pokémon Go proves investors were clueless about augmented reality.
As with all media storms, the reporting quickly turned negative, highlighting some potential dangers of playing Pokémon Go. Fortune Magazine summed it up this way: “Wildly Popular Pokémon Go Leads to Robberies, Injuries, and a Body.” iDownload went in-depth with “The runaway success of Pokémon GO highlights safety issues of augmented-reality gaming.” Gizmodo announced that “Armed Robbers Use Pokémon Go To Find 9 Victims,” while Vox worried that the game was not safe for people of color. One player even found a dead body floating in a river.
More bad news: NASA has gone on the record saying you can’t play Pokémon Go in space, which is a real downer for the nation’s astronauts.
On the flip side, there was also plenty of positive coverage of Pokémon Go, including stories about how the game is helping people manage depression, improving life for autistic children, helping police catch vandals, and getting Americans to exercise in large numbers — a small miracle! An Indiana animal shelter is even enlisting players to help walk shelter dogs.
There was also the surreal case of Boon Sheridan, who’s home (a converted church) is now a Pokémon Go gym. So far, he seems pretty tickled by all the activity outside his front door, but police are worried the game is encouraging trespassing on private property.
So you want to try out Pokémon Go, but you have no idea how it works or what you’re doing? Fear not, newbies: There are dozens of articles online explaining how to play the game. Here’s a sampling:
And remember: Now is the time to enjoy this game. It’s still fresh and hasn’t been overrun with advertisements — and that won’t last forever.
Nick Kizirnis, Marxent’s Lead of Product Management & UX Strategy has been digging on the recent collaboration between Ray LaMontagne and indie-jam stalwarts My Morning Jacket. “Low-key songwriter Ray LaMontagne teamed up with Louisville, Ky favorite sons My Morning Jacket to release ‘Ouroboros,’ a recording that recalls when 1960’s British psychedelia met 1970’s space rock, all with some intense MMJ grit,” Nick explains. “The album is a hypnotizing journey to the center of your mind … it’s a taste of what a jam-band might sound like on Europa.”
Stephanie Fresonke, Vice President, Client Partnerships, also had her ears up this week, and has been enjoying alt-rockers Nothing But Thieves. Steph shared the above clip for “Graveyard Whistling,” but was quick to point out that the group’s entire self-titled first album is awesome.
Marxent Senior engineer Jeff Cowgill shared this talk by Don Norman on UX. A Ph.D., Norman is co-founder and principal of Nielsen Norman Group: User Experience Research, Training, and Consulting.
Can Virtual Reality training for U.S. police help stop officer-involved shootings? England’s The Guardian explores the possibility.
Sales Director Jeff Morrow was the first to catch that The Golden State Warriors used virtual reality during their pitch to Kevin Durant.
And while we’re talking sports, Stephanie Fresonke has been finding herself spending time getting up to speed on the athletes and events of the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. “Makes me want to get out to work out more,” she says.
Marxent Software Engineer Brian Turner stumbled on the above video, posted at the end of March, and it’s mind-blowing. “Think you’re clever for finding a glitch in a video game? Try using glitches to put a new game inside the game,” Brain says. “That’s what the programmed in the video was able to do — put Flappy Bird into Super Mario World using only button presses on controllers. Stuff like this had been done before using custom hardware and bots. It’s the first time a human achieved it on unmodified hardware.”
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