There was a moment in 1994 that I remember distinctly. I was sitting in a Biology class at Mt. Sac. Class was just coming to order. A friend of mine from the BBS days was sitting next to me. Right before the professor started the lecture, he turned to me and asked, "Have you seen the Internet yet?"
"No," I answered.
"You should check it out. It's pretty cool."
And I did. And it was.
That's not really the truth. I checked it out and it was primitive. Does anyone out there remember gophers? There were no graphics. It was all text driven. But it was clear that it had huge potential.
I would consider that moment a point in time when I realized that everything was going to change.
This weekend I witnessed another. Laugh if you want, but Pokemon Go is going to change everything. In the last seventy two hours, it already has begun to.
I'm aware Pokemon Go isn't the first augmented reality game of its kind. Some of you runners out there may remember a little thing called Run, Zombies several years back. But Pokemon Go is massive and is being played everywhere. Take a walk around your neighborhood tonight and I guarantee that you will see people playing with it.
Here's what I'm seeing happening. We have a generation of young people we have beat up on for being anti-social and spending their lives perpetually indoors. Do you know what they're doing right now? They're out in the fresh air looking for Pokemon. They're speaking to strangers and sharing their experiences. Yes. They're actually speaking to people.
Over the last twenty years, we've gone so far into the computer that there's only one domain left to explore. Reality. Pokemon Go is going to be that bridge that does it and does it on a massive scale. If you're really quiet tonight, you can hear developers around the country working on launching their own game before snow falls.
It's absolutely genius in its simplicity. There is no need for a new, expensive game console. All you need to do it download it and head out your front door. The game is as basic as it gets. Like a lot of video games from the eighties, it requires a lot of imagination.
This isn't just something that's going to change the way people play games. This is going to change culture. I am jumping out of my skin having to wait and see what comes next. The actual social part of social media is finally being delivered.