Cognitive Therapy: Pokémon GO?
Many of my friends know I used to develop arcade-style, touchscreen-like PC games in the mid 90s and early 2000. I developed the games for passion and for passive income. As a one-person development team, time is usually ‘not on my side’. On hindsight, I’d unconsciously develop the games as some form of cognitive therapy; I had frequent headache or migraines because of fire-fighting and office politicking in my day job. I found solace through developing games, enjoyed creative moments, and experienced tangible and intangible benefits.
When Pokémon GO was released, I was curious to find out more on the game concepts and how it works, from a game developer’s standpoint. The augmented reality feature wasn’t new. The IKEA catalog (Singapore edition, and probably, global editions too) supported augmented reality for a few years. When the Pokémon GO was finally released on 6th August 2016 in Singapore, I quickly installed the game on my smartphone. There are many mobile apps showing location maps through GPS and location-tracking; and overlaying of text, images, and animations on live camera video. But Niantic Labs, the game developer for the Pokémon GO, has an advantage over its competitors – they’re a start-up from Google. It was easy for Niantic to access undocumented functions and integrated the Google mapping technology to display a customised location map on the Pokémon GO game. Could that (mapping technology) be one reason we don’t see clone games developed by other software companies yet? In many ways, the Pokémon GO has great “blue ocean strategy” type of marketing and advertising potentials, wrapped as an adventure and strategy game.
What has Pokémon GO got to do with the Elements of Numbers (EON) methods?
In the article, “EON Cognitive Profiling and Gaming Therapy” posted some time back, I mentioned the use of playing games as one of the many ways of de-stressing or emotions-diluting (for lack of better words) activities that we can use to control and ease our tempers and emotions. I’m playing the Pokemon GO game for exercising and family-bonding than anything else. It’s not a game for me to get addicted with. I’m compelled to walk the extra mile just to catch a rare Pokémon, and had one more common topic to share with the Wife and kids. I’m feeling fitter as a result of walking for around 8km on some days, something of an achievement for someone who commutes mainly by car. In short, there is no age barrier when playing games, and a game that encourages you to walk more has health benefits.
If you have strong Fire and Wood elements in your birth chart, or in your Personal Year chart, playing Pokémon GO might be a great way to release the excess energies in you, especially if you are a hot-tempered and easily agitated person. Then again, people with multiple Earth elements might find hunting for Pokémon as a social activity to exercise too. What about people with strong Metal and Water elements that are present in their charts? Frankly, there’s no stopping anyone to play Pokémon GO, or any game genre for that matter. Go ahead and play, but play it safely.
For generalisation and profiling purpose, people with strong Metal element preferred mentally-challenged games, like puzzles and “how things work” kind of games. Games like ‘Hitman GO’, ‘Lara Croft GO’, or even ‘Deus Ex GO’ might appeal to them more than playing Pokémon GO. Hunting for Pokémon might provide short-termed appeal to them. Hence, it might be easier to score high points in the game through the use of external “how to” or “where the Pokémon is” references. Oh, they might be hunting Pokémon through cycling, driving, or using personal mobility devices instead of walking! The same approach might be used by people with strong Water elements. The easiest ways to gossip and boast about their game skills are to show off the highest levels accomplished and total Pokémon caught. And the fastest approach is to ‘cheat’ to ease the insecurity, fear, and wavering feelings.
Whatever it is, there is no easy and direct way to stereotype game genre suitable for people. As the months and years passed by, our preferable type of games might change due to the influences of the periodic energies around. That is why sometimes some people might find it fun playing Candy Crush; and on other days, they’d prefer playing FIFA or Sims City type of games. Henceforth, we can only generalise the types of games that can be used for people with specific stronger than usual elements, at certain periods.
Lastly, playing mobile games, just like listening to relaxing serenity music in the background, can be good cognitive therapy when used correctly.
Regards, Ron WZ Sun