Directed by Adam Campbell Starring John Hanke & Tsunekazu Ishihara Short Documentary Film Review By Amaliah S. Marmon-Halm
The world of virtual and augmented reality seems to be synonymous with the future, all the exciting things that come with the Science Fiction ideal and what we would come to expect from living in the 21st century. Especially if you are a fan of 80s Sci-Fi films. And with more and more tech companies looking into how they can bring AR and VR to the mainstream, we see games like Pokemon Go start to emerge.
In What Made Pokemon Go, Adam Campbell looks in the history of Niantic, how they came to be and how it’s founder, John Hanke, went from Berkeley-Haas graduate to taking on the world with CEO of The Pokemon Company, Tsunekazu Ishihara, with quite possibly, the most popular game of the last decade.
It was interesting to learn that, in a stage case of foreshadowing, as an April Fool’s Day prank in 2014, Google created the Pokemon Challenge. A more hardcore version of the game that was to become Pokemon Go. And little tidbits, for example, how the Niantic name was inspired by a ship. This docu-short was very good for taking little bit of information and using them as trivia later. However, as a whole, there were times when it was very difficult to focus as the content became a little dull to watch.
To create this documentary short film, Campbell used a series of news clips, interviews, YouTube videos and other videos from other sources, Campbell has edited together the rise of John Hanke and his Niantic success. Although it is a well edited piece, there does seem to be some depth missing. Yes, this is an interesting piece and for those interested in the tech world and how a company like Niantic developed, there is a feeling that this is just a cut and paste job rather than a piece of investigation. If there was some narration of some form tying all the clips together, it could have aided in connecting the audience with the content.
Despite this, you do really get a grasp of how the company has grown from the idea of wanting to create a gaming experience that gets it its’ users back in to the real world. There are many “treasures” to find in the world and games such as Pokemon Go and Ingress can help make that happen for young and old.