Friday, August 12, 2016


Like you read from the title, we’ve got another “Pokémon Go” news item or two to talk about. This first article from The Daily Mail details a rather unique spin on the Nintendo and Niantic mobile app’s popularity.

The tourism office of the city of Basel in Switzerland has engaged the services of a somewhat off the wall marketing firm called Fadeout, in order to create a new ad campaign to encourage tourism to Basel. The gist of the marketing, in the form of a video uploaded on the city’s Facebook account, would be a humorous riff on the “Pokémon Go” game, which is already taking Switzerland and the rest of Europe by storm like most of the world.

So it went that a bunch of Fadeout people went cruising around Basel in a van, dressed up in Pikachu costumes and lugging around some cameras and giant plush Poke-balls. As the video footage shows, the Pikachu crew seems to be on the lookout for pedestrians who are staring too intently at their cellphones, the telltale sign of a “Pokémon Go” player. The moment they see one who fits the criteria – in the vid, a guy in a black shirt and shorts sitting at the edge of a fountain with a phone in front of his face was prominently featured – they come out of the van and either lob the Poke-ball plushy at the target, or send it shooting out of the van via a large rubber band slingshot. The latter nailed the guy in black and knocked him into the fountain, before he leaped out of it and ran after the Fadeout crew as they made a quick getaway in the van.

Amazingly, this quirky video has gotten up to 80 million views on Facebook. While it’s not quite certain whether or not it will get more people to come to Basel, the fact remains that people did find the Pikachu-dressed pranksters lobbing Poke-balls at “Pokémon Go” players around the city’s scenic spots, and the ensuing reactions, to be hilarious.

Not everything is cheery news about “Pokémon Go”, though. CNN has it that certain Islamic clerics in India and Malaysia have recently issued fatwahs – religious rulings – to completely discourage Muslims in their respective countries not to play the app at all. And their reasons are quite similar: “Pokémon Go” is addictive, saps attention span of one’s surroundings, cause loud display of emotions when playing, and causes gamers not to hesitate in wandering into religious sites and restricted areas, or invading private residences all for the sake of catching those Pokémon.


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