I’ve played Pokemon GO since before public launch. Since Google’s original Google Maps April Fool’s Joke that eventually turned into Pokemon GO, I’ve felt the draw of an augmented reality in which Pokemon exist. Now, courtesy of a couple of long-time Pokemon GO gamers on The Silph Road on Reddit, I’ve come to realize that the Pokemon aren’t the most important part of the equation. The most important bit here is the potential Niantic has in taking this franchise into the metaverse.
Mapping the earth
One of Niantic’s major goals right now is mapping our planet – not just with the data we can already find in Google Maps. real world metaverse where they’re able to persistently tie digital elements to our physical world.
It’s not just about mapping the world in space, it’s about mapping in time. They have the opportunity to take part in a future where digital assets aren’t just fanciful, they’re expected – they’re default.
The game Pokemon GO has some big limits, some of which are likely in place only because it wasn’t initially expected that gamers would get to this point, expecting more. Take for example the post that shocked me into a renewed interest in the potential for Pokemon GO: on The Silph Road on Reddit. There, a user by the name of MKMoo speaks about how he’s spun over 1000 Pokemon Gym locations.
In Pokemon GO, tap your avatar image in the lower left of your display, then tap ME, and scroll down to Gym Badges. There’s a section called Recently Visited, and a LIST button. Tap the LIST button and you’ll see all the Pokemon Gym locations you’ve ever spun and/or defended.
You can organize these locations by name, time, defense, and points. You can also see the lot on a map with the button in the lower left. You’ll see the number of gym locations you’ve tapped, as well as basic information on each gym.
This is awesome! But if you visit more than 1000 gyms, your oldest gyms start to disappear.
A token in time and space
Niantic could expand the way they use this location memory system and allow Pokemon GO to be a tool with which a person marks important events in their life, places they’ve lived, locations they’ve visited. Niantic could allow this information to be exported and saved.
Better yet, imagine Niantic being the first company to place Pokemon in the metaverse with blockchain. The Pokemon you catch could be the Pokemon you take with you – not only cross-game, but into your greater digital collection of assets.
You could catch a Pokemon at a specific location at an important event and keep that Pokemon as a token. That token could only ever be captured and created at that time, and at that location in our physical world. It’d be a piece of meta history unlike any other!
This could be amazing. It might just be inevitable.