1705: Pokémon Go
Title text: Still waiting for the Pokémon Go update that lets you capture strangers' pets.
| This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: A few remarks - I don't actually know anything about how Pokemon Go works. Details are needed for the uninformed (like me). New editor: Was GO released in all of North America, or just the US? [Another new editor: Unofficially it's playable everywhere (confirmed in Europe) as long as the app (.apk) is obtained from other sources.] Also, is this possibly a snub by Randall to the distractedness of GO players that Cueball takes his phone out AFTER seeing the Squirtle, when if the Squirtle was actually in the app Cueball shouldn't be able to see him in real life, yet he proceeds to try and capture the Squirtle anyway, and possibly another jab in that Randall has made a Squirtle toy, which some would consider more valuable than a Squirtle made of electrons? This would also benefit if someone could add hyperlinks to a Pokemon GO explanation and a link to the Generation One and Two games, possibly a false citation needed footnote for Pokemon being popular. Link to the Black Hat comic?|
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.
Pokemon Go is a smartphone game in which players attempt to capture first-generation Pokemon (Pokemon from the first series of games released), randomly placed around the world in an AR format so that they can only be seen through the phone. Randall is playing a prank on all players happening upon these Pokemon who would assume that they are from the game and that their phone is having trouble loading them.
Pokemon Go is an augmented reality (AR) smartphone game, where players walk around the real world trying to find digital Pokemon around them to capture, then leveling them up and/or evolving them, and using them in battle, similar to the classic Pokemon games for handheld consoles. Due to the popularity of the Pokemon franchise, after Pokemon GO's release in America on July 6, 2016, many fans of the series have been walking around with their smartphones out to capture and battle Pokemon, sometimes looking very ridiculous in the process. Randall jokes that he has replicated the AR properties of the Pokemon in the app (that is, when you encounter a Pokemon, it is a small computer-generated sprite placed over your phone's front camera image that moves about your screen, giving the appearance of a "real" Pokemon in front of you) in real life by making small plastic models of various Pokemon so they would seem to fit on a smartphone screen due to perspective, embedding a gyroscope in them so the wobble about their base and give the appearance of basic computer-created movement, and adding a subtle underlight to give them a slightly computer-generated look compared to the real world around them. These effects combined fools avid Pokemon GO players into taking out their smartphone to capture the Pokemon for their game, when in fact it is just a toy sitting in front of them.
The suggested prank is harmless, but in Missouri armed criminals have taken advantage of the game's location sharing to lure unwitting players into secluded areas and rob them. 
This comic is part of the My Hobby series. In this case, the hobby is pranking players of Pokemon Go by replicating the appearance of the augmented reality mechanic.
In the title text, Randall is still waiting for an update that allows capture of strangers' pets- besides the obvious, playing by the rules of Pokemon only wild Pokemon can be caught (not any with an owner). However, in the Pokemon Colosseum games, through the use of a specialized device the player steals from the villains, the player can capture other trainers' Pokemon. This is also a callback to an earlier strip wherein Black Hat wishes for a Pokeball that works on strangers' pets.
- [Cueball walks in to the frame from the left. On the sidewalk in front of him is a small Pokémon figure looking like a standing tortoise with a long tail. Lines around it indicate that it is moving forth and back (wobbling), and circle lines below indicate that there is light below it. The exact position of the Pokémon and these lines around it change through all four images, but stays almost in the same position.]
- [Cueball takes out his smart phone and points it's camera at the Pokémon while looking at the screen.]
- [Cueball shakes his smart phone violently up and down indicated with four to five gray drawings of his arm and phone below and above one solid black copy of the hand and phone. There are also two gray lines above and below the outer gray phones to indicate this shaking.]
- [Cueball has lowered his smart phone and just stands there looking at the wobbling Pokémon.]
- Cueball: ???
- [Caption below the panel:]
- My hobby: Building plastic Pokémon with subtle underlighting and a gyroscope to make them drift back and forth, then leaving them sitting around to mess with Pokémon Go players.
add a comment! ⋅ add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ refresh comments!