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Pokémon Go! is the most successful and popular app of 2016. It’s not necessarily useful, like Waze, or a chance to detach from reality, like Neko Atsume. PG is a combination of geolocating and collecting. Using Google Maps and their phone’s camera, players ‘find’ and ‘capture’ monsters. That’s pretty much it.

But what is it really? Servers can’t be crashing and people can’t be finding dead bodies just because a made up monster is in a nearby park. There has to be more going on. Here are some theories.

Pokémon GO is:

  • A novel approach to get people walking.
  • A well timed marriage of 90s nostalgia and 2016 technology.
  • A fun chance to explore places you’d never see.
  • A new platform to meet new friends in real life.
  • The only thing that can heal a divided nation.
  • A team of designers’ plan to access to the inside of some people’s homes. The rest of us are a cover story.
  • A way to seek revenge on a man who lives in an old church.
  • A creation of a think piece culture that desired something more fun to pontificate about than race, politics and gender.
  • The easiest way for a company to collect all of your Google user data.
  • Tracking your location and behavior to spy on you.
  • Tracking your location and behavior to give you more accurate targeted ads.
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