Written by Brian M Williams, Staff Writer
Pokemon GO becomes DonaldHillary GO. “Big Brother Google?”
“HillaryDonald Go” is a new mobile app that is a knock-off of the popular “Pokemon Go” game.
The app was created by Dartmouth college professors Mikhail Gronas and Joseph Bafumi. Gronas is a professor in digital humanities and Slavic studies and Bafumi is a professor in American politics. Gronas and Bafumi noticed the attraction that kids and college students were having toward “Pokemon Go” and believed they could, “lessen the acrimony” that came along with the election processes with their own take on the game.
“Since the birth of democracy in ancient Greece, modern politics has been, in essence, a competitive game,” Mikhail Gronas said. “Games are often considered a less serious social activity; however, elections are some of our nation’s most important political decisions and are very much game-like: we follow the scores or polls, and we root for our teams.”
The game uses the same geo-tracking feature as the “Pokemon Go” game but that’s the only similarity.
Instead of capturing Pokemon you capture candidate “booths.” When users walk or drive around neighborhoods discovering the nearly 1 million “booths” they shake their mobile devices, sending out good vibes. When the “booth” receives 50 “good vibes” endorsing a single candidate, that candidate captures that spot on the map. If a candidate wins a “booth” you hear a sound bite from that candidate when you approach them on the map.
The game creates a map of the political affiliation of neighborhoods, cities, counties and states.
I used the Android version and felt this game was not a good source of entertainment. There is nothing to do. There are less than 5,000 total downloads. The iTunes version had three reviews.
“It’s hilarious how this app pushes the two party system even when the whole object of ‘Pokemon Go’ was the diversity of the creatures. This is such garbage. Add Jill Stein, Gary Johnson and others or get rated one star,” iTunes member harryprayiv said.
The only thing interesting about this game is the conspiracies behind it.
As we all know this game is a version of “Pokemon Go.” What you probably know is that “Pokemon Go” uses Google Maps to guide you along your way to find Pokemon. You take that further by mapping out the inside of your house and workplace. Niantic Labs, formerly a part of Google, that created “Pokemon Go” confirm that your information might be shared in the future. In fact, you acknowledge and agree to this, when you sign the terms and conditions to create your game account.
“Pokemon Go” along with all of Google services are actually illegal in China. Allegedly, they believe the United States and Japan are teaming up to use Google and its services to spy on them and the rest of the world.
Conspiracy theorist believe factions such as NSA are employing app developers such as Niantic to get private information you otherwise would not give out due to privacy issues and this “HillaryDonald Go” app is an attempt to add a political layer to the Google Maps.
What you may not know is that these two games are a version of a Niantic game called “Ingress.” “Ingress” has been accused of using its app to profit participating businesses. “Ingress,” like “Pokemon Go” and “HillaryDonald Go” profiles you by tracking your everyday activities and where you are at all times. Businesses can host events and parties called “portals,” like “booths” where app users meet up similar to “Pokemon Go” luring cites. “Ingress” is aimed at people who can afford a more lavish lifestyle. Users have leased airplanes and boats to reach portals in remote areas of Siberia and Alaska.
“HillaryDonald Go” did not do much to get anyone off their couches and interested in the election. It failed as a game. Maybe it succeeded in determining that the people who did use the app wanted third party acknowledgement.