Uncanny game world

With any game we play, we take the knowledge we have of our world and bring it with us into the game and story world. However,the translation of the Pokémon Go game world by Nintendo to the mobile world turned this on its head. Our knowledge of the game world has to be brought into the real world.

As the player walks around the physical map of the world, they will have to navigate the map of the game world accordingly. Obviously, it is a new way of seeing the world we live in and we can notice the many differences. However, it is also a way to experiences the game world through our own body. The gaming experience is taken out of the game, in a very real way.


Another way of looking at this is how the game world is shaped through the narratives created by the players themselves. What the players experience in the game and the narratives that can be derived from these are what fill out the game map, roughly said.

Since everyone is essentially playing on the same map, but cannot interact directly with each other within the game map, they can still walk and experience the same places together in the physical world. They can then interact through narratives of experiences they have had in different places on the map or their current experience in the game. For instance, one could say in all seriousness (and it has been said): “I was just taking a walk around the lake and then I met a Dranini”. In that statement alone the two worlds merge together as the Pokémon ‘Dranini’ is brought into the physical world and physical place become part of the game world.

On another note, in order for the players to actually interact within the game, they have to interact in the physical world at the same time in the same place. This is in contrast to interacting through a game console or other medium, like you would often do in other (“normal”) games. Although, if we look at how the players can walk and experience the game map just like any other player in the game, they are then essentially interacting and shaping the game world on a much larger scale together. Their shared knowledge of the physical world merged with what they discover and experience in the game world, is what supports and creates the uncanny game world of Pokémon Go.


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