Pokémon GO

August 15th, 2016 9:24 AM
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On July 6, 2016, Pokémon GO was released for iOS and Android.

This mobile game in the 20-year-old franchise throws good UX/UI design and traditional social engagement out the window — yet it's quickly garnered more users and engagement than Twitter, Tinder, Snapchat, and Instagram. Not only that, but it released fewer than two weeks before KansasFest.

While at Rockhurst University, roommate Andy Molloy and I took an evening stroll around campus, finding and capturing the infamous pocket monsters while I introduced him to the game's mechanics. Only a week earlier, Kevin Savetz and I had been learning the basics ourselves as we explored downtown Portland, Oregon.

It wasn't Pokémon that brought me, Kevin, and Andy together in the first place, of course — it was the Apple II. And just like with Kerbal Space Program, we're not above porting our favorite games back to our favorite machine.

What would Pokémon GO look like on the Apple II? Charles Mangin tried but failed to conceive of such a thing:

Pokémon GO

Meanwhile, Steve Weyhrich, a long-time gamer, "gets" Pokémon GO and how to adapt it to the Apple II — if not programmatically, then thematically:

OK, game programmers, here is a concept for you to work on:

"Retro Go", a game in which Professor Woz sends you out on a quest to "catch 'em all"! You start with an Apple II, a TRS 80, or Commodore PET and then set off on your journey.

Along the way, you will see various retro computers, peripherals, or software appear in your path. When you see them, frisbee-throw a floppy disk to capture it for your collection.

When you capture enough retro equipment, take it to the user group meeting to battle it out between the various platforms and level up. Apple II versus Macintosh! Atari versus C64! ZX spectrum against IBM PCjr!

Don't let retro arguments be battled out in terms of rational platform performance – see how a level 124 TRS 80 Model 100 with the power of "LCD dazzle" fares against a level 80 Atari 800 with with modem and its "ANTIC smash" attack!

Don't spend REAL money on eBay- use this game to collect every Apple II model "in the wild" and put it on display in your retro bag. Earns the respect of Professor Woz as the greatest retro trainer of them all!

I'd catch that!

For more on Pokémon GO, listen to my podcast interview with Serenity Caldwell on Polygamer #49:

Wozstralia

October 8th, 2012 1:06 PM
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Filed under Mainstream coverage, Steve Wozniak;
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Switzerland may be the birthplace of the World Wide Web, but that invention is just a component of the larger Internet, for which the United States of America can claim responsibility. Yet the USA has fallen behind in broadband penetration and speed (6.7 Mbps average — just 43% of what South Korea attains).

So embarrassed by this performance that the USA may lose another of its children: Steve Wozniak wants to move to Australia, where a national broadband network is being deployed.

Sydney Opera House"I support it very much. It's one of the reasons why I actually like this country and want to become a citizen," Woz told the Australian Financial Review. "It turns out I can keep my American citizenship. I intend to call myself an Australian and feel an Australian, and study the history and become as much of a real citizen here as I can."

This isn't just idle chatter, either: The Mercury News reports that Woz was in Brisbane at the time of the iPhone 5's launch, filing the documents necessary to begin the citizenship process to settle in the Land of Woz.

It's ironic that Woz would place so much emphasis on personal broadband, as his current California residence lacks that connectivity. The Woz is apparently able to get by with mobile access from his multiple cell phones.

Be it mobile or broadband, Woz's and the world's connectivity needs are very different from the days in which the Apple II was invented. Even today, though the telecommunication projects of Ewen Wannop are nearly essential additions to any modern Apple II user's software library, there's so much we can do offline with our classic computers. While the same can be said for Macs and PCs — games and productivity suites often work fine without an Internet connection — I never feel as crippled with an offline Apple II as I do with an offline MacBook. Instead, I enjoy the slower pace of the Apple II, the thoughtful navigation and swapping of disks, and the monotasking work environment.

Does Woz need to switch countries — or computers?

(Hat tips to Paul Lilly and Om Malik)