(First published in The Federalist on July 28, 2016)
It’s been mere weeks since “Pokémon Go” was released to the public, but it has already become one of the hottest games ever developed for mobile devices. Within the first three days, “Pokémon Go” shattered download records and all expectations. The game surpassed the number of installs of trendy dating app Tinder, attracted more players than any other mobile game, and even beat Twitter for daily active users across all platforms.
As with any new phenomenon, it’s hard to separate the hype from the reality. Perhaps it’s a sign of our contentious times that we are seeing the Peak of Inflated Expectations in predictions of both salvation and disaster for our social order. Optimists see a game that gets people out walking more and meeting their neighbors, while pessimists see another reason for iZombies to be glued to a screen and ignore the world.